Skip to main content

Full text of "The life and letters of St. Francis Xavier"

See other formats




;/     /   / 





\_All  rights  rese-nied.l 





AETERNE   •    RERUM    *   OMNIUM    •    EFFECTOR    '   DEUS 

MEMENTO    •    ABS    *   TE    •   ANIMAS    *    INFIDELIUM    *    PROCREATAS 

EASQUE    •    AD    •    IMAGINEM    *    ET    '    SIMILITUDINEM    '    TUAM 


ECCE    •    DOMINE    •    IN    *   OPPROBRIUM    *    TUUM 

HIS    •    IPSIS    •    INFERNUS    •    IMPLETUR 

MEMENTO    •    JESUM    *    FILIUM    •    TUUM 

PRO    •    ILLORUM    •   SALUTE    *   ATROCISSIMAM    •    SUBIISSE    *    NECEM 

NOLI    •    QUAESO    '    DOMINE    *    ULTRA    *    PERMITTERE 

UT    •    FILIUS    •    TUUS    *    AB    '    INFIDELIBUS    *    CONTEMNATUR 

SED    •    PRECIBUS    '    SANCTORUM    *    ELECTORUM    '    TUORUM 

ET    •    ECCLESIAE    •    SANCTISSIMAE    '    SPONSAE    *    FILII    •   TUI 



ET    •    OBLITUS    •   IDOLOLATRIAE    •   ET    *   INFIDELITATIS    *    EORUM 

EFFICE    •    UT    •    ET    •    IPSI    *    ALIQUANDO    *    AGNOSCANT    *    QUEM 



:N    •    QUO    •    EST    •    SALUS    *   VITA    *    ET    '    RESURRECTIO    *    NOSTRA 

PER    •    QUEM    •    SALVATI    *    ET    *    LIBERATI    *    SUMUS 

CUI    •   SIT    '    GLORIA    *    PER    •    INFINITA    *    SAECULA 



VOL.  I. 


Although  several  beautiful  Lives  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  exist — 
some  of  them  in  our  own  language — I  do  not  think  that  any 
excuse  will  be  required  for  the  attempt  made  in  the  present 
work  to  produce  a  new  Life,  which  may  satisfy  in  some  sort 
the  legitimate  requirements  of  our  own  time.  We  are  accus- 
tomed to  set  a  higher  value  than  men  of  former  generations 
on  those  indications  of  personal  character,  in  the  case  of  great 
men  and  conspicuous  Saints,  which  are  to  be  found  in  their 
own  words,  in  their  letters,  in  anecdotes  which  set  them  fami- 
liarly before  our  eyes,  and  the  like.  The  Catholics  of  the 
sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries  would  take  the  letter  of 
a  Saint,  for  instance,  of  St.  Teresa  or  St.  Francis  Xavier,  and  cut 
it  to  pieces  for  the  sake  of  making  up  a  signature  out  of  letters 
from  separate  words,  or  forming  some  holy  text  in  the  Saint's 
handwriting  in  the  same  way.  Many  valued  such  relics  as  these, 
without  caring  much  for  the  actual  words  and  thoughts  of  the 
Saint,  which  they  were  often  content  to  have  in  a  translation, 
or  a  paraphrase  which  preserved  the  general  sense,  but  not 
the  peculiar  colouring  and  incommunicable  character  of  the 
mind  from  which  the  words  proceeded ;  we,  on  the  other  hand, 
value  above  all  things  the  minute  traits  of  character  and 
1  To  the  First  Edition. 

viii  Preface, 

shades  of  feeling  which  can  only  be  discerned  by  close  and 
faithful  study  of  the  mind  and  heart  of  some  one  in  whose 
history  we  are  interested,  and  we  set  the  highest  store  on  such 
biographies  as  make  this  study  most  easy  to  us,  by  putting 
before  us  in  its  native  simplicity  whatever  comes  to  us  most 
immediately  from  such  a  heart  and  mind. 

There  can  be  no  doubt,  that  if  St.  Francis  Xavier  had  lived 
within  the  present  century,  the  first  thought  of  his  biographers 
would  have  been  to  collect  every  detail  within  reach,  even  as  to 
the  external  circumstances  and  scenery  of  his  career,  and  that, 
in  particular,  every  scrap  of  writing  that  ever  proceeded  from 
his  pen  would  have  been  religiously  preserved  and  examined, 
even  if  it  had  not  been  published.  Such  was  not  the  way  in 
which  biographies  were  written  in  the  generation  which  suc- 
ceeded that  of  Francis  Xavier  and  Ignatius,  and  the  lives 
which  that  generation  and  subsequent  generations  produced 
differ  in  proportion  from  those  which  we  require.  At  this 
distance  of  time,  and  under  all  the  circumstances  of  the  case, 
it  might  be  impossible,  even  for  one  with  far  greater  oppor- 
tunities than  it  is  my  lot  to  possess,  to  supply  fully  what  is 
to  us  a  sort  of  deficiency  in  earlier  lives  of  the  Saint.  A  very 
large  number  of  his  letters  have  perished  altogether.  Those 
which  remain  to  us  exist  chiefly  in  a  Latin  translation,  which 
appears  to  have  the  merit  of  conscientious  fidelity,  but  which 
must  certainly  fail  to  give  us  much  of  the  fire,  much  of  the 
delicate  grace,  much  of  the  intense  tenderness,  which  must 
have  breathed  in  every  line  of  the  originals.  Moreover,  a 
great  many  collateral  facts,  which  would  render  the  letters  more 
complete  as  an  integral  portion  of  his  biography,  have  cer- 
tainly been  lost  to  us.     There  are   other  accessories  which 

Preface,  ik 

might  be  supplied,  even  at  the  present  day,  but  which  I  am 
painfully  aware  are  wanting  in  the  present  work.  A  knowledge 
of  India  and  the  East,  including  Japan,  an  acquaintance  with 
the  scenes  of  his  labours,  with  the  living  effects  which  still 
remain  of  his  preaching,  notably  in  the  south  of  India,  with 
the  unchanged  and  unchangeable  aspects  of  nature  in  the 
gorgeous  world  of  the  Eastern  Isles,  with  the  half  civilized 
and  half  savage  tribes  to  whom  he  preached,  and  of  whose 
manners  he  has  given  so  striking  an  account — these  and  other 
similar  qualifications  would  have  enabled  me  not  only  to  ren- 
der the  picture  more  full  and  attractive,  but  to  supply  many  an 
absolute  deficiency,  and  explain  much  that  is  now  hardly  free 
from  obscurity. 

No  one  will  rejoice  more  heartily  than  myself  should  any 
future  writer,  possessed  of  such  qualifications,  undertake  to 
write  a  more  complete  life  of  the  Saint  than  this  can  pretend 
to  be.  In  the  mean  time,  it  may  serve  to  the  glory  of  God 
and  the  honour  of  St.  Francis  to  have  done  that  which  has 
been  now  attempted  :  that  is,  to  give  a  clear  narrative  of  his 
life  as  it  stands  in  the  ordinary  biographies,  and  to  use  the 
whole  of  the  letters  and  fragments  which  have  survived  to  us, 
in  the  form  in  which  we  possess  them,  to  illustrate  the  life  and 
to  speak  to  lis  of  his  character  for  themselves.  The  only  former 
biographer  of  St.  Francis  who  has  made  much  direct  use  of  the 
letters  is  Pere  Bouhours,  whose  work  is  known  in  England  from 
its  translation  by  Dry  den.  But  our  acquaintance  with  the  let- 
ters has  been  increased  since  his  time,  and  he  did  not  use  those 
which  he  had  as  fully  as  might  be  wished.  He  had  the  ad- 
vantage, which  is  shared  by  the  excellent  Italian  writer  Massei, 
over  the  earlier  biographers,  Turselline  and  Lucena,  of  writing 

X  Preface, 

after  the  Processes  had  been  completed  and  largely  used  by 
Bartoli,  who,  in  his  Asia,  has  really  furnished  the  storehouse 
from  which  all  subsequent  authors  have  supplied  themselves. 
Massei,  who  wrote  at  Rome,  where  the  documents  on  which 
the  Processes  were  founded  exist,  tells  us  that  he  consulted 
them  independently,  and  that  he  has  here  and  there  added 
details  from  them  which  Bartoli  had  passed  over.  But  in  the 
main  the  last  named  author  has  furnished  the  materials,  derived 
mainly  from  the  Processes  and  the  letters  to  Rome  from  the 
East,  on  which  our  knowledge  of  the  life  of  St.  Francis  Xavier 
has  been  founded.  Bartoli  is  very  full,  accurate,  and  industri- 
ous, but  the  letters  were  less  perfectly  known  to  him  than  to 
us.  We  have  the  great  advantage  of  the  very  useful  though 
unostentatious  labours  of  Father  Menchacha,  who  at  the  end 
of  the  last  century,  and  during  the  suppression  of  the  Society, 
published  the  letters  in  two  volumes  at  Bologna,  summing  up 
at  the  same  time,  in  his  Prolegomena,  all  that  can  be  said 
about  them,  and  going  through  them  carefully  in  the  *  Chrono- 
taxis'  which  forms  a  part  of  those  Prolegomena,  with  a  view  to 
their  arrangement  and  connexion  with  the  life  of  St.  Francis. 
Father  Menchacha  once  or  twice  expresses  a  hope  that  a  Life 
may  some  day  be  written  which  may  give  to  the  letters  their 
due  weight  in  illustrating  the  history.  No  one  could  have  been 
more  fit  than  himself,  from  his  devotion  to  the  Saint  and  his 
intimate  knowledge  of  all  that  remains  to  us  concerning  him, 
to  have  undertaken  such  a  task ;  but  he  has  been  content  to 
make  it  possible  for  others. 

Father  Menchacha's  collection  of  the  letters  has  existed 
for  some  years  in  French,  having  been  admirably  translated  by 
M.  Ldon  Pages,  who  has  prefixed  to  his  translation  a  succinct 

Preface,  xi 

life  of  St.  Francis,  which,  if  it  had  been  fuller,  and  if  the  letters 
had  been  incorporated  with  it,  would  have  made  superfluous 
the  work  which  is  now  laid  before  the  reader.  I  feel  bound 
to  say  that,  unpretending  as  this  memoir  is,  I  have  found  it 
of  the  very  greatest  service,  as  it  adds  dates  and  details  in  a 
number  of  places  where  they  were  wanting  before;  and  I  have 
so  generally  found  these  additions  correct  as  to  have  learnt  to 
give  almost  implicit  confidence  to  any  statement  of  M.  Leon 
Pagbs,  even  unsupported  by  a  reference.  M.  Leon  Pages  is 
now  engaged  on  a  work  on  the  history  of  Christianity  in  Japan, 
and  I  should  be  extremely  glad  to  know  that  the  volume  which 
relates  to  St.  Francis  Xavier's  labours  in  that  country  would 
appear  in  time  for  use  in  the  second  volume  of  this  work.  I 
fear,  however,  that  such  will  hardly  be  the  case. 

The  earlier  biographers  of  St.  Francis  must  not  be  under- 
valued in  comparison  with  their  successors.  Turselline  appears 
to  me  to  have  much  of  that  charm  which  hangs  about  such 
books  as  Ribadeneyra's  Lives  of  the  Saints — a  sort  of  quaint 
nnction,  a  simple  Catholic  spirit,  uncritical,  not  so  much  in 
the  sense  of  over  credulity  and  want  of  due  examination,  as 
in  that  of  an  absolute  freedom  from  fear  and  hesitation  in 
dwelling  on  the  religious  and  supernatural  aspect  of  the  sub- 
jects treated  of,  and  in  supposing  in  the  mind  of  the  reader 
the  same  loving  piety  and  glow  of  devotion  with  which  the 
writers  themselves  were  kindled.  I  have  been  fortunate  enough 
to  meet  with  an  old  English  version  of  Turselline,  which  has 
enabled  me  to  put  some  of  the  wellknown  facts  of  the  history 
before  the  reader  in  language  corresponding  to  his  own  in  this 
respect.  Lucena's  Vida  da  Sari  Francesco  is  a  grand  work, 
possessing  the  same  merit  which  I  have  attributed  to  Tursel- 

xli  Preface, 

line,  and,  moreover,  based  upon  an  accurate  knowledge  of 
documents  and  of  the  history  of  the  Portuguese  in  the  East. 
It  is  a  large  work,  here  and  there  diffuse,  but  it  professes  to 
be  more  than  ahistory  of  the  personal  exertions  of  St.  Francis 
Xavier.  I  have  also  used  the  Portuguese  writer  Faria  y  Sousa, 
who  published  the  annals  of  Portuguese  Asia,  Asia  Portiigiiesa, 
at  Lisbon  in  1655.-  He  was  a  voluminous  and  industrious 
writer,  and  his  facts  may  be  thoroughly  depended  on.  He 
appears  to  have  consulted  a  very  large  number  of  authorities 
in  the  compilation  of  liis  history.  His  style  is  rather  curt  and 
pretentious,  and  he  dwells  entirely  upon  the  military  and  poli- 
tical side  of  history.  I  have  found  him  frequently  confirm  the 
statements  of  the  biographers  of  St.  Francis,  of  whom  he  al- 
ways speaks  with  a  veneration  which  seems  to  reflect  the  high 
honour  which  was  always  paid  to  the  Saint  by  the  Portuguese 
officers  and  governors  of  India,  with  a  few  notable  exceptions. 
There  is  every  reason  for  believing  that,  to  speak  in  gene- 
ral, the  history  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  rests  upon  human  evid- 
ence of  the  very  highest  kind.  All  the  marvellous  actions  and 
incidents  with  which  it  is  illustrated  are  supported  by  sworn 
witnesses,  who  came  forward  when  the  Processes  were  formed 
in  the  East  by  the  order  of  the  King  of  Portugal.  The  docu- 
ments at  the  disposal  of  Bartoli  and  Massei  contained  the  de- 
positions of  the  witnesses  in  each  case — depositions  as  care- 
fully and  conscientiously  drawn  as  any  that  pass  current  in  legal 
investigations.  Bartoli  very  frequently  gives  the  exact  words 
of  the  witnesses.  It  was  not  the  custom  in  his  time  to  add 
footnotes  and  references :   the  story  flows  on  from  page  to 

2  His  works  seem  to  have  been  published  both  in  Portuguese  and  Spanish. 
The  copy  used  in  this  work  is  in  Spanish. 

Preface.  xiii 

page  in  his  grand  folios  without  interruption  or  the  anticipa- 
tion of  questioning,  much  as  the  narratives  of  Herodotus  or 
Thucydides.  In  our  days,  no  doubt,  he  ^ould  add  the  names 
of  the  witnesses  and  the  Uke  :  but  to  have  done  it  then  would 
have  been  an  anachronism.  I  have  not  myself  consulted  the 
immense  mass  of  the  documents  which  still  exist  at  Rome, 
but  I  have  had  the  advantage  of  using  a  manuscript  Relatio 
super  Sanditate  et  Miracidis  Francisci  Xaverii^  drawn  up  before 
the  canonization  of  the  Saint  by  three  distinguished  Roman 
theologians,  auditors  of  the  Rota  in  the  time  of  Paul  V.,  men 
of  the  very  highest  character,  who  had  examined  the  evidence 
formally  as  its  judges,  and  who  made  their  report  to  the  Pope 
in  i}ii\i  Relatio,  upon  which  it  seems  very  clear  that  the  Bull 
of  Canonization  was  founded.  In  this  document  there  is  a 
full  account  of  the  Processes,  and  each  piece  of  testimony 
which  is  adduced  is  attributed  to  its  proper  author,  and  it  is 
stated  whether  he  was  an  eyewitness,  or  merely  one  who  heard 
others  speak  of  what  had  been  done.  I  hope  in  the  second 
volume  to  find  room  at  least  for  an  abstract  of  this  very  in- 
teresting document,  which  is  full  of  consummate  theological 
and  ascetical  learning.^ 

I  may  be  allowed  to  add,  that  I  have  made  it  the  chief 
object  of  this  work  to  draw  out  the  character  of  St,  Francis 
Xavier  from  his  own  words  and  actions,  rather  than  to  accu- 
mulate all  the  materials  that  are  at  the  disposal  of  his  bio- 
graphers. When  the  letters  are  added  to  the  narrative  of  a 
life  such  as  his,  short  comparatively  though  it  was,  the  work 
becomes  almost  too  large,  unless  some  points  are  treated  con- 

3  This  hope  had  to  be  abandoned,  on  account  of  the  great  amount  of  mat- 
ter which  had  to  be  contained  in  the  second  volume.    Note  to  Second  Edition. 

xiv  Preface, 

cisely.  Thus,  now  and  then  an  anecdote  is  omitted,  or  placed 
in  a  note,  not  from  the  slightest  wish  to  slur  it  over,  but  to 
economize  space  where  the  reader  was  already  familiar  with 
the  trait  of  character  or  the  evidence  of  power  which  the 
anecdote  might  illustrate.  I  can  only  pray  that  the  perusal 
of  these  pages  may  have  to  others  the  charm  which  their  com- 
position has  had  to  myself —  that  of  making  them  seem  to 
understand  more  familiarly  the  workings  of  a  noble,  tender, 
and  most  affectionate  heart,  on  fire  with  the  love  of  God  and 
zeal  for  souls,  and  borne,  under  the  guidance  of  the  holy  spirit 
of  charity,  along  a  path  of  heroic  enterprize  and  selfsacrifice 
by  the  side  of  which  the  achievements  of  the  great  ones  of  the 
world  look  poor  and  unfruitful  indeed. 

H.  J.  C. 

London,  Feast  of  St.  Antony  Abbot,  1872. 



From  the  Birth  of  Francis  to  his  Sailing  for  India. 


Francis  Xavier  at  the  University  of  Paris. 


Manifold  diversity  of  vocations      .  i 
Importance  of  the   old   Universi- 

'  ties 2 

Universities   and    religious   move- 
ments        3 

Ignatius  at  Paris    ....  4 

His  attraction  to  great  cities  .        .  5 

Acquaintance  with  Francis  Xavier.  7 

Peter  Favre 8 

Parentage  and  early  life  of  Francis 

Xavier 9 

His  university  career      .        .        .11 
He  was  not  at  once  won  by  Ignatius  12 
The  other  first  members  of  the  So- 
ciety          13 

Formation  of  the  Society  at  Paris  .  16 
Ignatius's  zeal         .         .         .         .16 

His  method  with  Peter  Favre         .  18 
The  first  vows  at  Montmartre,  Feast 

of  the  Assumption,  1534,         ,  19 
Ignatius  threatened  with  pubhc  dis- 
grace         20 


Struggle  of  Francis  regarding  his 

vocation 22 

Difficulties  from  his  father 
His  sister  intercedes  for  him  . 
Attraction  to  the  Holy  Land  . 
The  Society  formed  for  Apostolical 


Immense  importance  of  the  East  to 
the  Church      .... 
Method  of  life  of  the  companions 
of  Ignatius       .... 
Unity  and  peace    .... 
Journey  of  Ignatius  to  Spain  . 
Letter  I.     To  the  Captain  of  Azpil- 
queta,  March  24,  1535. 
He  asks  assistance  of  his  brother    31 
Denies  calumnious  reports  .         .31 
Gratitude  to  Ignatius  .        .         -32 
Vice  and  heresy  at  the  University    33 
Begs  his  brother  to  seek  the  coun- 
sels of  Ignatius        .         .         -34 
His  coiisin's  flight  from  College .    35 



Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome. 

The  Companions  leave  Paris  to  join 

Ignatius,  Nov.  15,  1536  . 
Opposition  to  tlieir  departure. 
Particulars  of  the  journey- 
Danger  to  Francis  from  excess  in 

penance  .... 
Difficulties  on  the  road  . 
State  of  the  country  through  which 

they  passed 
They  reach  Venice  about  Epiphany, 

1537  .... 
Ignatius  awaits  them  there  . 
They  occupy  themselves  in  works 

of  charity 
Francis  at  the  Hospital  of  the  In 

curables  .... 
The  disciples  of  Ignatius  start  for 

Rome       .... 
Their  trials  and  privations 
They  are  presented  to  the  Pope 
Dispute  with  Roman  doctors  in  his 

presence  .... 
The  Pope  favours  them  . 
They  return  to  Venice  and  receive 

holy  orders,  June  24,  1537 
They  are  prevented  from  starting 

for  the  Holy  Land  . 
They  disperse  to  prepare  for  their 

first  mass 


'    47 

Their  rule  and  discipline 

Collected  at  Vicenza 

Ignatius  calls  them  '  Compania'  of 


Francis  has  a  vision  of  St.  Jerome  . 
Bologna,  first  scene  of  his  priestly 


Ignatius  at  Rome  .... 
With  Ortiz  at  Monte  Cassino  . 
The  Companions  assemble  at  Rome 
Ignatius  unfolds  the  plan    of  his 


Leave  is  given  to  preach  and  hear 

confessions       .        .        . 
False  accusation  against  Ignatius 

and  his  Companions 
Decision  in  their  favour,  Nov.  18, 


Exertions  during  a  famine  in  the 

winter 52 

Deliberations  regarding  the  Society    53 
Verbal  approbation  by  the  Pope     . 
Dispersion  of  the  Companions 
Govea  and  John  III.  of  Portugal    . 
Demand  for  missionaries  to  the  East 


Francis  Xavier  is  appointed  in  place 

of  Bobadilla,  March  15,  1540  .     57 





Francis  in  Lisbon. 

Desire  of  Francis  for   the   Indian 

Mission   .        .        ,        .        .     58 

Leaves  at  Rome  his  suffrage  as  to 

the  General  of  the  Society       .     59 

His  journey  to  Portugal .        .        .59 

Letter  II.   To  Fr.  M.  Ignatius,  Bo- 
logna, March  31,  1540. 
His  interview  with  Card.  Fenreri    61 
His  labours  at  Loreto  .         .61 

Message  to  Faustina  Ancolini     ,     62 


XVI 1 


Letter  III.    To  the  Society,  Lisbon, 
July  3,  1540. 
His  account  of  his  journey  .         .     62 
A  miraculous  escape  from  drown- 
ing .        63 

Other  anecdotes  of  the  journey   .     64 
He  denies  himself  a  last  interview 
with  his  mother        .        .        -65 
Cure  of  Simon  Rodriguez  from 

fever 66 

Interview  with  the  King  .  .  67 
They  hear  confessions  at  the  Court  68 
The  King  favours  the  Society  .  68 
Fresh  Associates  in  the  Mission  .  70 
The  King  begs   the  Fathers  to 

preach 70 

Hopefulness  of  Francis  .        .        .71 
Life  of  the  Fathers  at  Lisbon .        .     72 
Letter  IV.    To  Fr.  M.  Ignatitcs,  Lis- 
bon, July  26,  1540. 
Success  of  the  Spiritual  Exercises    'jj 
Proposes  a  college  for  students  .     74 
Speaks   of  founding  new  houses 
of  the  Order     .        .        .        .75 
Francis  invited  to  Coimbra  by  his 

uncle 75 

Letter  V.  To  the  Dr.  Azpilqueta,  Lis- 
bon, Sept.  28,  1540. 
Self-diffidence  of  Francis     .        .     76 
Hopes  of  a  meeting     .        .        -77 
Commends    Bias    Lopez   to   his 

uncle 'j'j 

LETlf-.R  VI.      To  the  Dr.  Azpilqueta, 
Lisbon,  Nov.  4,  1540. 
Joy  at  his  pious  zeal    .         .         .78 
Promises  an  interview        .  .     79 

Letter  VII.  To  Fr,  M.  Ignatius,  Lis- 
bon, Oct,  12,  1540. 
Great  fruit  of  their  exertions         .     80 
Death  of  the  King's  brother        .     81 
Expectations  as  to  India     .         .     82 


Confirmation  of  the  Society,  Sept. 

27.  1540 82 

Cardinal  Guidiccioni       .        .         .82 
Negotiations  for  retaining  the  Fa- 
thers in  Portugal      .        .        .83 
Ignatius  suggests  that  Simon  Rodri- 
guez should  stay      .         ,        .84 
The  Companions  of  Francis   .        .     85 
Francis  named  Apostolic  Nuncio   .     86 
He  refuses  an  outfit        .        .        .86 
Letter  VIII.    To  the  Society  at  Rome, 
Lisbon,  March  18,  1541. 
Joy  at  the  prosperity  of  the  So- 
ciety         87 

The  King  desires  to  found  a  house  88 
Deep  gratitude  of  F'rancis  .  .  88 
Favourable  opinion  of  the  Gover- 
nor Sousa  .  .  .  .90 
Hopes  of  success  in  the  Indies  .  90 
Expressions  of  humility  and  self- 
distrust     91 

Praises  of  the  King  of  Portugal  ,  93 
The  piety  of  the  Court  .  .  94 
Letter  IX.  To  Frs.  Le  Jay  and  Lay- 
nez,  Lisbon,  March  18,  1541. 
Alms  for  the  Gesii  .  .  .95 
Advice  how  to  gain  support  .  96 
Begs  that  the  ambassador  may 

be  written  to    .        ,                 .96 
Francesco  Mancias      .         .        >     <^^ 
Masses  offered  for  Cardinal  Gui- 
diccioni    98 

Those  who  trifle  with  their  voca- 
tion   99 

Anticipations  of  increased  num- 
bers   100 

Asks  some  spiritual  favours          .  10  r 
Election  of  General        .         .         .  lot 
Francis  reveals  some  secrets  to  Rod- 
riguez       102 

Sails  from  Lisbon,  April  7,  1541    ,  102 


Z.  Suffrage  of  St.  Francis  Xavier 
in  the  election  of  a  General  for 
the  Society      .         .        .        .103 

Letter    of  St.    Ignatius   to  his 

nephew    .....  104 
Don  Pedro  Mascarefias      .        .  105 

XV  111 



From  the  Sailing  of  Francis  for  India  to  his  first  Voyage 

TO  THE  Farther  East. 



Voyage  to  Lidia,  and  first  Labours  at  Goa. 

Sea  voyages  in  the  time  of  Francis .  109 
Company  on  board 
His  Apostolical  conversation  . 
Practices  of  charity 
His  sufferings  during  the  voyage 
Stay  at  Mozambique 
Letter  X.  To  the  Society  at  Rome, 

Goa,  Sept.  18,  1542. 

Unusual  length  of  the  voyage     , 

Occupations  at  Mozambique 

His  two  companions  left  there     , 

Some  account  of  Goa. 

Melinda    - . 

The  island  of  Socotra 

Rehgion  of  the  inhabitants  . 

Their  hatred  of  the  Mussulmans 

At  the  hospital  at  Goa 

Occupations  in  the  city 

Mission  to  Cape  Comorin   . 

The  love  of  the  Cross .        .        .121 

He  begs  for  news  of  the  Society .  121 

Humbly  asks  for  guidance  .        .121 

Francis  omits  many  details     .        .  122 

The  Portuguese  at  Goa  .        .        .123 

The  College  of  Santa  F^         .        .  125 

Deference  of  Francis  towards  the 

Bishop 125 

Influence  of  his  holy  life         .        .  126 
His  method  of  winning  souls  to  good  127 
Disordered  hves  set  right        .         .127 
Invitations    to    attend    '  Christian 
Doctrine'         .        .        .        .128 



Christian  truths  taught  in  verse  .  129 
The  Fishery  Coast .  .  .  .  130 
Remarks  on  the  two  following  letters  131 
Letter  XI.  To  the  Father  Master 
Ignatius  of  Loyola,   Goa,  Oct.  18, 

Foundation    of   the  College    of 

Santa  F6  ••••133 

Gratitude  of  Francis  to  the  Gover- 

nor 134 

Request   of  indulgences    in    his 

name 135 

More    members    of  the   Society 

asked  for  ....  136 

Value  set  by  the  Portuguese  on 

indulgences      .        .         ;        .  137 

Personal  favours  for  the  Governor  137 

Letter  XII.     To  the  Father  Master 

Ignatius  of  Loyola,   Goa,  Oct.  20, 

Asks  a  plenary  indulgence  for  the 

octave  of  St.  Thomas  .  .  .  138 
Begs    for    indulgences    for    the 

hospital 139 

Also  for  indulgences  on  the  Feasts 

of  our  Lady  ....  139 
And   for    the    Confraternity    of 

Mercy  .  .  .  ^  .  .  140 
Requests  that  the  Bishop's  Vicars 

may  administer  confirmation  .  140 
Change  of  the  season  of  Lent  .  141 
Postscript 142 




Francis  Xavier  among  the  Paravas. 


Account  of  the  Paravas  .        .        .  143 

Their  dispute  with  the  Mussulmans  143 

They  appeal  to  the  Portuguese       .  144 

Many  of  them  are  baptized,  1532  .  145 

Francis  finds  them  quite  uninstructed  145 

Letter  XIII.    To  the  Father  Master 

Ignatius  Loyola,  Tuticorin,  in  the 

Spring  1543. 

Account  of  his  mission  to  Cape 

Comorin 146 

The  children's  desire  for  instruc- 
tion          146 

■     Miraculous  recovery  of  a  woman  147 

Conversion  of  a  whole  village    .  148 

Protection  of  the  Governor ,        .  148 

Francis  begs  prayers  for  him       .  150 

Francis  takes  Mancias  with  him     .  150 

Letter  XIV.   To  the  Society  at  Rome, 

Cochin,  Dec.  31,  1543. 

A  letter  from  Rome     .        .         .  151 

The  Catechism    translated  into 

Malabar 151 

Method  of  instruction  .  .  152 
Great  numbers  baptized  ,  .  153 
Piety  of  the  children  .  .  .  153 
Their  hatred  of  the  idols  ,  .  154 
The  natives  beg  his  help  for  the 

sick T54 

He  sends  children  in  his  place    .  154 
Appoints  catechists     .        .        .  155 
Laments  the  scarcity  of  mission- 
aries          156 

Learned  men  at  the  universities  .  156 

Progress  of  the  College 
The  Brahmins    . 
Their  fear  of  Francis  . 
Meeting  in  a  pagoda  . 


•  157 

.  157 

.  158 

.  159 

Francis  disputes  with  the  Brahmins  159 
Explains  to  them  the  Christian 

faith 160 

Conversation  with  a  learned  Brah- 
min.       .....  161 

Hopes  of  his  conversion      .         .  162 
His  own  joy  in  God's  service       .  162 
Love  for  the  Society  .        .        .  163 
Hisfaith  in  the  prayers  of  children  163 
The  letters  of  Francis  give  an  in- 
sight into  his  ministry       .        .  164 
Difficulties  of  the  work  at  Cape  Co- 
morin       165 

Francis  constantly  surrounded  by 

children 166 

Method  of  teaching  the  Catechism  167 
The  native  schoolmasters  .  .  167 
Explanation  of  the  Creed  .  .168 
The  natives  thoroughly  taught  ,  169 
The  gift  of  miracles  .  .  .  170 
The  gift  of  tongues  .  .  .172 
Other  miracles  of  the  Saint  .  .  174 
Children  work  miracles  through  him  174 
Opposition  of  the  Brahmins  .  .  175 
Difficulties  caused  by  the  Portuguese  175 
Hardships   and    mortifications    of 

Francis 176 

His  interior  consolations         •        .  i7<' 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore. 

Trials  of  Francis    ....  178 
Want  of  sympathy  .        ,        .  179 

His  affectionate  disposition    ,        .  179 
His  companions     .        .        ,        .180 

His  return  to  Goa,  1543.        .        .  180 
He  takes  two  native  priests  back  to 

the  coast  ....  181 

Mancias  working  alone  .        .        .181 




Francis  writes  often  to  instruct  and 

encourage  him         .        .        .  182 
Character  of  Mancias     .        .        .182 
Letter  XV.  To  Francis  Mancias,  set- 
ting out  for  Comorin,  Punical,  Feb. 
22,  1544. 
Begs  for  news  of  all  that  concerns 

him 184 

Exhorts  him  to  patience      .        .184 
Directions  as  to  money       .        .185 
Letter  XVL     To  Frattcis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  March  14,  1544. 
The  example  of  God's  patience  .  186 
Encouragement  ....  186 
Matthew  and  the  Patangatins    .  186 
Manciiis  urged  to  be  zealous  in 
catechizing      ....  187 
Letter  XVH.    To  Francis  Maficias, 
Mu7iahpaud,  March  20,  1544. 
Joy  at  the  success  of  Mancias      .  188 
Exhortations  to  charity       .         .  189 
The  mischief  done  by  the  Portuguese  189 
The  Maharajah  of  Travancore       .  190 
Well  disposed  towards  Francis       .  191 
Letter  XVI IL    To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  March  24,  1544. 
Outrage  by  a  Portuguese    .         .191 
Impunity  allowed  to  such  actions  192 
Mancias   is   to   complain  to  the 

Commandant  ....  193 
Injustice  of  the  Portuguese  to  their 

aUies 193 

Change  of  plan  in  St.  Francis     .  194 

Idea  of  preaching  in  Ethiopia     .   194 

The  Portuguese  in  Africa        .         .  195 

Letter   XIX.    To  Francis  Mancias, 

Munahpaud,  March  27,  1544. 

Congratulations  on  his  success    .   196 

Sorrow  at  the  persecutions  of  the 

Christians  .  .  .  .196 
The  boy  Matthew  .  .  .  197 
Correction  of  an  error  in  Malabar  197 
Encouragement  to  charity  .  .  198 
Letter  XX.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  April  8,  1544. 
Fruit  of  Mancias'  labours  .  .  199 
Francis  promises  to  meet  him     .  199 


Defection  of  Joam  d'Artiaga  .  199 
Interest  in  Matthew  .  .  .  200 
Letter  XXI.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Livare,  April  23,  1544. 
Request  for  news  .  .  .  201 
Anticipation  of  an  interview  with 

a  Pula 202 

Inquiries  about  the  children        .  202 
Letter  XXII,   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Nare,  May  i,  1544. 
Francis  ill  with  a  fever        .         .  203 
The  Pula  still  expected        .         .  203 
Letter  XXIII.   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Tuticorin,  May  14,  1544. 
Exhortation  to  patience       .         .  203 
How  to   deal  with  the  unfortu- 
nate          204 

Severity  should  be  the  last  re- 
source       205 

Other  labours  of  Francis         .        .  205 

Conversions  in  Travancore     .         .  206 

Favour  of  the  Rajah       .         .        .  207 

Account  of  Francis,  by  Paul  Vaz    .  208 

The  Vadhouger  or  Badages   .         .  208 

Letter  XXIV.    To  Francis  Mancias, 

Munahpaud,  Monday,  June  16,  1544. 

Ravages  of  the  Badages      .        .  209 

Church  promised  at  Combutur   .  209 

Francis  sets  out  to  the  relief  of  the 

Christians        .         .        .        .211 
Letter  XXV.   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Virandapatanao,  June  22,  1544. 
Children  should  be  the  first  care.  211 
Kindness  and  affability  to  be  used  211 
Letter  XXVI.   To  Francis  Ma7icias, 
Munahpaud,  June  30,  1544. 
Failure  of  attempt  to  reach  Cape 

Comorin 212 

An  appeal  for  the  sufferers  there  212 
Inquiries  about  the  Christians  .  213 
Interruption  in  the  correspondence  213 
Francis  again  in  Travancore  .  .  213 
Attack  upon  the  Christians  there  .  214 
Francis   alone   stops   an   invading 

army 214 

Miraculous  raising  of  the  dead       .  215 
Another  miracle  at  Coulan     .         .216 




Letter  XXVII.   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  Aug.  i,  1544. 
Francis  visits  Cape  Comorin  by 

land 217 

Misery  of  the  people  there  .         .217 
Letter  XXVIII.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  Aug.  3,  1544. 
Fear  of  Mancias  being  taken  pri- 
soner        218 

Sends  a  priest  to  help  him  .         .218 
Steps  for  the  protection  of  the 

Christians        .        .         .         .219 
Takes  the  opportunity  of  urging 

prayer 220 

Anxiety  for  the  safety  of  the  con- 
verts         220 

Disturbances  at  Tuticorin      .         .221 
Letter  XXIX.   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  Aug.  19,  1544. 
Request  for  news  of  the  Christians 

at  Tuticorin     ....  221 
Mancias  begged  not  to  desert  his 

post 221 

P.S.    An  attack    from  the    Ba- 

dages 222 

Letter  XXX.    To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  Aug.  20,  1544. 
Fear  for  those  who  offend  God   .  223 
The  Rajah  sends  a  message  to 
the  Badages    ....  223 
Project  of  sending  Mancias  to  Ma- 

naar         .....  224 
Letter  XXXI.   To  Francis  Mancias, 
Punical,  Aug.  21,  1544. 
Inquiries  about  the  attacks  of  the 

Badages 224 

When  they  are  over,  Mancias  may 

leave 224 

Francis     Coelho     will    succeed 
him ......  225 

Joam  d'Artiaga  ....  225 

Francis  without  an  interpreter    .  225 
Temporary  freedom  from  moles- 
tation        226 

Francis  about  to  sail  for  Tala     .  226 
Means  of  securing  the  work  in  Tra- 

vancore 226 

VOL.  I. 


Efforts  for  the  protection  of  Chris- 
tians       .....  227 
Letter  XXXII.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Munahpaud,  Sept.  2,  1544. 
Help  from  a  Prince  at  Tala         .  227 
Begs  the  Prince's  messengers  may 

be  rewarded  ....  228 
The  outrage  by  a  Portuguese  .  228 
If  true,  Francis  cannot  appear  at 

the  Court         .        .         .        .228 
The  Rajah  has  shown  great  kind- 
ness          229 

The  Commandant  requested  to 

secure  peace  during  a  month  .  229 
Particulars  of  the  outrage  to  be 

sent 230 

Caution  not  to  sign  the  letter      .  230 
The  Portuguese  more  mischievous 

than  the  natives       .         .         .  231 
Misconduct  of  the   Commandant, 

Cosmo  de  Payva      .        .        .  232 
The  Commandant  in  calamity        .  233 
Francis  anxious  to  reheve  him         .  233 
Letter  XXXIII.    To  Francis  Man- 
cias; Sept.  5,  1544. 
Request  for  news  of  the  Christians 

at  Tuticorin  ....  233 
Mancias  is  to  go  and  help  them 

if  necessary      ....  234 
Provisions  are  to  be  sent      .         .  235 
Letter  XXXIV.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Alendale,  Sept.  5,  1544. 
Pity  of  Francis  for  the  Command- 
ant   235 

His  calumnious  letter .        .        .  236 
Mancias  urged  to  aid  him  .         ,  236 
Fresh  outrages  of  the  Portuguese    .  237 
The  Christians  sure  to  suffer  in  con- 
sequence   237 

Letter  XXXV.    To  Francis  Mancias, 
Trinchandour,  Sept.  7,  1544. 
Labours  of  Francis  interrupted   .  239 
The  Badages  up  in  arms     .        .  239 
Influence    of   Francis    with   the 

Rajah 239 

He  hopes  it  may  check  violence.  239 
Intended  visit  to  Iniquitribirim  .  240 

XXI 1 



The  Christians  to  be  conveyed  to 
Combutur  and  Punical    .        .  240 

Mancias  to  visit  the  Christian  set- 
tlements   241 

Importance    of  instructing    the 

young 241 

Letter  XXXVI.  To  Francis  Mancias, 
Mutiahpaud,  Sept.  20,  1544. 

Kind  feeling  for  the  Commandant  242 

Father  Coelho  sent  to  the  Prince 
at  Tala 242 

Francis  very  desirous  to  leave  the 
Christians  in  peace  .         .         .  242 

Kind  messages  to  others      .        .  243 


Letter  XXXVII.    To  Francis  Man- 
cias, Tuticorin,  Sept.  20,  1544. 
Anxiety  for  the  Christians  gives 

him  no  rest      ....  243 
He  is  going  to  the  Rajah  to  plead 

their  cause       ....  244 
Begs  the  prayers  of  children  for 

his  success       ....  244 
Sends  money  to  pay  for  their  in- 
struction   244 

Francis  again  in  Travancore  .  .  244 
He  destroys  the  idols  and  pagodas  244 
His  desire  for  martyrdom  .  .  245 
Success  of  his  mission  in  Travancore  245 


Manaar,  Jafanapatam^  and  Meliapor. 

Mission  to  the  island  of  Manaar  .  246 
Persecution  by  the  Rajah  .  .  247 
Six  hundred  Christians  put  to  death  247 
Conversion  and  death  of  the  Rajah's 

son. 248 

Miraculous  appearances  at  the  grave  248 
Conversion  of  other  princes  in  Cey- 
lon   248 

Francis  intends  to  appeal  to  the  Go- 
vernor of  India         .         .         .  249 
Letter  XXXVIII.  To  Francis  Man- 
cias, Munahpaud,  Nov.  8,  1544. 
Again  urges  him  to  charity .         .250 
How  to  act  in  distracting  duties.  250 
When  gentleness  fails,  a  little  se- 
verity is  good  .        .         .        .251 
Confidence  in   God  and  in   the 

prayers  of  children  .         .         .  251 
Grief  at  the  outrages  against  God  251 
Attempted  negotiations  of  the  Go- 
vernor with  the  Pulas      .        .  252 
Persecution  against  Christians  con- 
nived at  by  Portuguese     .         .  252 
Letter  XXXIX.     To  Francis  Man- 
cias, Mzmahpaud,  Nov.  10,  1544. 
Mission  of  Alexis  de  Sousa         .  253 

His  displeasure  with  the  Pulas    .  253 
Francis  passes   through  villages 

baptizing  ....  253 

Directions  as  to  the  pearl  fishery  253 
Prayers  of  children  an  assistance 

and  shield  ....  254 
Desire  to  die  for  God's  service  .  254 
Francis  Xavier  at  Cochin  .  .•255 
Conversation  with  Miguel  Vaz  .  255 
Letters  from  Portugal  .  .  .  255 
Scandals  amongst  the  Portuguese  .  256 
Miguel  Vaz  proposes  to  go  to  the 

King  of  Portugal     .         .         .  257 
Progress  of  the  Society  of  Jesus      .  257 
Letter  XL.     To    Francis   Mancias, 
Cochin,  Dec.  18,  1544. 
Proposed  visit  to  the  Governor   .  258 
Mancias  to  be  ordained  priest     .  258 
Two  more  companions  expected.  259 
Mancias  to  go  to  Travancore      .  259 
Villages  of  Matchuas  to  be  bap- 
tized       .....  261 
Antonio  Fernandez     .        .        .  261 
Joam  de  Lizana  .         .        .        .261 
Francis  embarks  for  Cambaia         .  261 
Conversion  on  the  way  .        .        .  262 




Expedition  against  Jafanapatam  or- 
dered        263 

Return  of  Francis  to  Cochin  .         .  264 
Letter  XLI.    To  John  III.  Kmg  of 
Portugal,  Cochin,  Jan.  20,  1545. 
The  King  responsible  to  God  for 

India 265 

Recommendation  of  Miguel  Vaz  266 
He  must  be  sent  back .  .  .  266 
The  Bishop's  decaying  health  .  267 
The  King  is  warned  to  punish  his 

officials 267 

A  special  minister  for  religious 

affairs  is  wanted  .  .  .  268 
The  King  urged  to  greater  liber- 

ahty 268 

Progress  of  Christianity  .  .  269 
More  missionaries  wanted  .  .  269 
Colleges  at  Goa  and  Cranganor .  270 
Francis  expects  to  die  in  India  .  270 
Anxiety  of  Francis  for  the  return  of 

Miguel  Vaz  ....  271 
Letter  X  LI  I .  To  the  Reverend  Father 
Ignatius  of  Loyola,  General  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus,  at  Rome,  Cochin, 
Jan.  22,  1545. 
Renewed  request  for  faculties  and 

indulgences  ....  271 
The  sort  of  men  who  are  wanted 

as  missionaries  .  .  .  272 
Conveniences  at  Goa  and  Cochin  272 
Work  even  for  the  delicate  .  273 

Anxiety  for  letters       .         .         .  273 
Intention  of  Francis  to  proceed  fur- 
ther East         ....  274 
Letter   XLI  1 1.     To  Master   Simon 
Rodriguez,  of  the  Society  of  Jesus, 
Cochin,  Jan.  22,  1545. 
As  to  Simon's  coming  to  India  .  275 
Diego  Fernandez        .         .         .  275 
The  letter  addressed  to  all  the 

Society 276 

Inquires  again  about  indulgences  277 
Francis'  affection  for  Rodriguez  .  277 
Simon  is  not  to  let  any  friends 

come  as  officials  to  India  .  278 
Praise  of  Miguel  Vaz  .         .         .  279 


Letter  XLIV.    To  the  Society  at  Rome, 
Cochin,  Jan.  27,  1545. 
Mutual  love  of  members  of  the 

Society 280 

Explains  his  manner  of  instruct- 
ing .        .         .         ...        .  280 

Destruction  of  the  idols  .  .  281 
Account  of  the    persecution    in 

Manaar 281 

Prospects  in  Macazar  .        .  283 

Payva  and  the  King   of  Supa,   in 

Celebes 285 

What  is  a  lie  ?        .         .        .         ,  286 

Kings  of  Supa  and  Sian  are  baptized  286 

Francis  proposes  to  go  to  Malacca  287 

Sails  for  Negapatam       .         .        .  288 

Conversion  of  the  pilot  of  the  vessel  288 

The  expedition  abandoned     .        .  289 

Letter  XLV.  To  Father  Francis  Man- 

cias,  Negapatam,  April  7,  1545. 

Francis  exhorts  him  to  zeal         .  289 

His  own  uncertainty  as  to  the 

future 290 

Mentions  his  plan  for  Macazar  .  291 
Again  urges  care  to  teach  children  291 
The  native  priests  to  be  watched  292 
Serious  offences  must  be  punished  293 
Mancias  is  to  remonstrate  with 

Cosmo  de  Payva     .        .        .  293 
And  to  threaten  him  with  punish- 
ment       .....  294 
Vasco  Fernandez         .         .         .  294 
Francis  unwilling  to  see  the  expedi- 
tion given  up  .         .         .         .  295 
Sails  for  Meliapor  and  puts  back    .  295 
Letter  to  Mancias  from  Negapatam  296 
Journey  of  Francis  to  Meliapor  on 

foot 296 

Shrine  of  St.  Thomas  .  .  .  296 
Francis  attacked  by  devils  .  .  297 
He  receives  great  light  as  to  his 

future  course   ....  S97 
Letter  XLVI  .   To  the  Fathers  Diego  de 
Borba  and  Paul  of  Camerino,  City 
of  St.  Thomas,  May  8,  1545. 
Francis  regrets   the  expedition's 
failure 298 




God's  will  made  known  to  him  as 

to  Macazar      ....  298 

Prayers  translated  for  the  converts  299 

His  confidence  in  God        .        .  299 

Happiness  of  Francis  at  Mehapor  .  300 

Conversions  among  the  Portuguese  301 

Miracles 301 

Conversion  of  Joam  d'Eyro    .         .  302 
His  relapse  and  repentance    .         .  303 


Francis  leaves  Meliapor  .        .  303 

No  bad  Christians  left  there  .        .  303 
Assists  a  soldier  who  had  lost  at  cards  304 

Causes  his  conversion     . 
Characteristics  of  the  Saint     . 
Arrival  of  Joam  de  Castro,  the  new 

Governor,  at  Goa    . 
Martin  Alfonso  de  Sousa's  wish  to 






Daily  exercise  of  a  Christian,  by 
St.  Francis  Xavier  .         .         .  306 

Method  of  catechizing  the  ignor- 
■ant,  by  the  same     ,        .        .  318 

3.  Explanation  of  the  Creed,  by  the 

same 321 

4.  OtherworksofSt.  Francis  Xavier  340 

5.  Supposed  letter  to  Mancias,  om- 

itted in  the  text       ,        .        .341 


From  the  first  Voyage  of  Francis  to  the  Eastern 
Archipelago  to  his  Return  to  India. 


Francis  at  Malacca. 

Scarcity  of  letters  during  this  period  345 

lalacca 346 

Arrival  of  Francis  ....  347 
He  remains  and  works  as  usual  .  348 
Great  condescension  to  sinners  .  349 
Conversion  of  a  Rabbi  .  .  .  350 
Multitude  of  miracles  .  .  .  350 
A  girl  raised  from  the  dead    .         .  351 

Letter  XLVII.   To  the  Society  in  Por- 
tugal, Malacca,  Sept.  1545. 
His  designs  on  Macazar     .        .  353 

Letter  XLVIII.     To  the  Society  in 
Portugal,  Malacca,  Nov.  10,  1545. 

Macazar 354 

Joam  d'Eyro        ....  354 
Arrival  of  Fathers  from  Portugal  355 




Letter  XLIX.   To  Father  Simon  Rod- 
riguez, Malacca,  Dec.  5,  1545. 
Francis  implores  him  to  send  mis- 
sionaries   356 

Progress  of  the  Society  .         .        .  356 

Jerome  Nadal         ....  357 

Letter  L.   To  the  Fathers  Paul  ofCa- 

merino,  Joam  Beira,    and  Anto- 


nio  Criminale,  Malacca,  Dec.  10, 

1545.     • 

Beira  and  Criminale  to  go  to  Cape 
Comorin 359 

Paul  of  Camerino  exhorted  to  obe- 
dience       360 

Recommendation  of  Simon  Bo- 
telho 360 


The  Moluccas. 

Meagre  account  of  Francis'  pro- 
ceedings in  the  Moluccas         .  362 
Extent  of  the  Islands      .         .         .  363 
State  of  Religion    ....  364 
Conversions  on  board  ship      .         .  365 

Amboyna 365 

The  fleet  of  Spaniards    .         .         .  366 
Contagious  disease  among  the  crews  367 
Cosmo  Torres         ....  367 
Letter  LL     To  the  Society  at  Goa, 
Amboyna,  May,  8,  1546. 
Work  at  Amboyna      .        .         .  368 
Prospect  of  danger      .         .         .  369 
Letter  LIL   To  Father  Paul  ofCaine- 
rino,  Amboyna,  May  10,  1546. 
Exhortation  to  obedience    .         .  370 
Two  Fathers  to  be  sent  to  the 
Moluccas         ....  370 
Letter  LIIL    To  the  Fathers  at  Co- 
morin—  Antonio    Criminale    and 
Joam  Beira,  Amboyna,    May   10, 
His  work  with  the  Spaniards       .  371 
Mancias  and  Beira  to  come  to  the 

Moluccas         ....  372 
How  they  are  to  sail  .         .         .  373 
Letter  LIV.   To  the  Society  at  Rome, 
Amboyna,  May  1546. 
His  arrangements  before  leaving 

India 374 

Stay  at  Malacca ....  374 
Voyage  to  Amboyna  .  .  .  375 
The  Spanish  fleet  .  376 

The  region  of  the  Moor  .  .  376 
Dangerous  voyage  to  Amboyna  .  377 
The  Jews  in  China  .  .  .  378 
Letters  received  at  Malacca  .  379 
State  of  Amboyna  .  .  .  380 
The  Island  of  Maurica  .  .  381 
Climate  and  productions  .  .381 
Variety  of  languages  .  .  .  382 
A  lusus-naturce  in  Amboyna  .  383 
Asks  prayers  for  his  voyage  .  383 
Characteristics  of  this  letter  .  .  384 
Letter  LV.  To  the  Society  at  Rome, 
Cochin,  Jan.  21,  1548. 
Work  at  Amboyna 
The  Isles  of  the  Moor 
The  Javars .... 
Volcanic  eruptions 
St.  Michael's  Day,  1546  . 
Work  on  his  return  towards  Ma 

lacca       .... 
The  Mussulman   King    of  Ter 
nate         .         .        .         .         , 
Ignorance  of  the  Mussulmans 
Four  months  at  Malacca     . 
Details  to  be  supplied  from  other 

sources    .... 
The  crucifix  in  Baranura 
Francis  in  Rosalao  and  Ulate 
State  of  Religion  in  Ternate  . 
Great  success  in  preaching 
Neachile         .... 
Why  Francis  Xavier  went  to  the 
land  of  the  Moor     .        .        .  398 








History  of  Religion  there 
Attempts  to  prevent  his  going 
His  joyful  reception 


.  399 
•  399 
.  400 


Great  consolations  .         .         .  401 

The  chastisement  of  Tolo       .         .  402 
Visit  to  Macazar  and  other  places  .  404 


Four  more  Months  in  Malacca. 

Francis  finds  three  Priests  of  the 

Society  at  Malacca  .  .  .  405 
News  from  Europe  .  .  .  406 
Death  of  Peter  Favre  .  .  .  406 
The  Missionaries  sent  on  .  '  .  407 
The  Acheenese  expedition  against 

Malacca 408 

The  Portuguese  ships  burnt  .  .  409 
Challenge  to  the  '  Capitan'  .  .  409 
Indignation  and  zeal  of  Francis  .  410 
The  Christian  armament  fitted  out  411 

Francis  announces  its  success 


History  of  the  armament        .        .  412 
The  battle  and  victory    .         .         .  414 
Triumphant  return  of  the  armament  416 
Letter  LV.  continued. 
Anger  the  Japanese    .         .         .  417 
Prospects  in  Japan      .        .         .  418 
Storm  on  the  way  to  India  .  419 

Francis'  love  for  the  Society        .  420 
Farther  details  as  to  Anger     .        .421 
Joam  d'Eyro's  fault  and  vision       .  422 
Particulars  as  to  the  storm  and  sud- 
den calm         «...  424 




Francis  Xavier  at  the  University  of  Paris, 

In  His  last  discourse  to  His  Apostles,  before  He  went  forth 
to  the  Garden  of  Gethsemani  on  the  night  of  the  Passion,  our 
Blessed  Lord  told  them  that  their  election  to  their  high  mission 
in  the  Church  and  all  their  fruitfulness  in  it  depended  on  Him- 
self. *  You  have  not  chosen  Me,  but  I  have  chosen  you,  and 
have  appointed  you  that  you  should  go  and  should  bring  forth 
fruit,  and  that  your  fruit  should  remain.'^  This  truth  neces- 
sarily holds  good  of  all  who,  in  any  way  or  degree,  have  been 
called  in  the  history  of  the  Church  to  a  work  or  mission  like  to 
that  of  the  Apostles  :  their  original  vocation  and  their  prepara- 
tion for  their  office,  the  power  which  has  been  with  them  in 
carrying  it  out,  and  the  success  and  permanence  of  their  work, 
all  have  come  from  our  Lord.  But  as  the  manner  in  which  He 
called  or  prepared  the  Apostles  was  so  various,  as  Andrew  and 
John  were  led  to  follow  Him  while  they  were  disciples  of  the 
Baptist,  as  He  called  Matthew  from  the  receipt  of  custom,  and 
St.  Paul  on  his  way  to  persecute  the  Christians  at  Damascus,  so 
it  has  been  since.  The  manifold  diversity  of  the  vocations  of 
later  Saints,  of  the  methods  by  which  they  have  been  attracted, 
and  of  the  places  or  occupations  in  which  the  Divine  Voice  has 
made  itself  heard  by  them,  is  as  wonderful  as  the  rich  multi- 
formity of  their  graces  and  the  teeming  fertility  of  their  labours. 
The  three  canonized  Saints  of  the  first  generation  ot  the  Society 
of  Jesus  illustrate  this  remark,  for  St.  Ignatius  was  called  to  God 
on  a  bed  of  convalescence,  St.  Francis  Borgia  in  the  midst  of 
active  political  services,  and  St.  Francis  Xavier  from  a  career 
of  honourable  study.  It  is  with  the  call  of  the  last-named  Saint 
that  we  have  now  to  do. 

1  St.  John  XV.  i6. 
VOL.  T,  B 

St.  Francis  Xavier, 

It  is  perhaps  not  easy  for  us  to  understand  fully  how  im- 
portant to  the  Church,  in  the  middle  ages  and  the  centuries 
which  immediately  followed  them,  were  the  great  Universities 
of  Europe,  or  the  influence  which  they  exercised  on  the  intel- 
lectual life  of  the  time.  The  universality  of  printing  and  read- 
ing has  to  some  extent  dispersed  and  distributed  that  power 
over  the  general  thought  which  formerly  was,  as  it  were,  stored 
up  in  the  great  centres  of  learning.  Again,  the  effect  of  the 
movement  of  the  sixteenth  century  has  been  to  dissolve  Chris- 
tendom into  separate  and  hostile,  though  outwardly  Christian, 
nationalities,  and  one  part  of  this  process  of  disintegration  has 
been  the  enfeebling  of  the  attraction  which  drew  students  to 
the  great  Universities  without  distinction  of  race  or  country. 
The  highest  idea  of  a  University  is  now  that  which  represents 
it  as  a  national  institution.  Famous  and  influential  as  it  may 
be  within  the  shores  or  the  frontiers  of  a  particular  country,  no 
University  now  aspires  to  be  European.  Rome  alone,  in  our 
time,  has  gathered  within  her  halls  the  Catholic  students  of 
every  clime  and  race,  and  that  she  did  so  was,  humanly  speak- 
ing, one  of  the  supports  of  that  power  which  the  enemies  of  the 
Churcli  are  striving  to  root  up  by  the  destruction  of  the  Tem- 
poral and  independent  Princedom  of  the  Supreme  Pontiff. 
Moreover,  the  creation  of  clerical  seminaries  in  the  several  dio- 
ceses, which  was  one  of  the  results  of  the  Council  of  Trent, 
though  it  may  as  yet  have  been  only  partially  carried  out  in  more 
than  one  Catholic  country,  has  tended  to  dry  up  the  supply  of 
students  in  philosophy  and  theology  in  Universities  strictly  so 
called.  For  these  and  other  causes,  and  notably  on  account  of 
the  comparative  fewness  in  number  of  the  students  now  to  be 
found  collected  at  any  one  spot,  no  modern  University  can  be 
considered  as  an  adequate  reproduction  of  the  University  of 
Paris  in  the  days  of  which  we  are  about  to  speak — when  It 
numbered  among  its  scholars  St.  Ignatius,  St.  Francis  Xavier, 
and  their  companions,  and  became  the  providential  mother  and 
nurse  of  the  Society  of  Jesus. 

It  is  not,  however,  difficult  to  see  the  fitness  of  the  place  for 
the  work  which  was  to  be  brought  to  its  first  maturity  within  its 

The  University  of  Paris, 

walls.  Englishmen,  at  least,  can  well  understand,  from  the 
ecclesiastical  history  of  their  country  during  the  last  forty  years, 
how  important  it  must  always  be  for  a  religious  movement  that 
aims  at  gaining  any  permanent  hold  on  the  intelligent  and  edu- 
cated classes,  to  seize  on  a  great  seat  of  learning  as  its  own 
centre.  The  movement  towards  Catholicism  within  the  pale  of 
the  Anglican  Establishment  would  never  have  exercised  so 
wide  or  so  rapid  an  influence  over  the  nation  if  it  had  not  risen 
up  in  the  very  heart  of  English  cultivation.  Elsewhere  it  would 
have  crept  along  in  the  dark,  and  it  would  have  grown  slowly 
and  by  fits — if  it  had  not  been  crushed  out  before  it  had  the 
time  to  grow  :  at  Oxford  it  placed  itself  at  once  in  the  full  light 
of  day,  and  attained  a  vigorous  manhood  when,  in  point  of  years, 
it  was  still  in  its  infancy.  Tractarianism  sank  into  a  pietistic  de- 
crepitude as  soon  as  it  had  run  through  that  portion  of  its  ca- 
reer towards  Catholic  Unity  which  lay  logically  and  consistently 
within  the  limits  of  obedience  to  Anglican  authorities,  of  main- 
tenance of  Anglican  tests  of  doctrine,  and  of  adherence  to  the 
partial  compromise  on  which  the  Establishment  rests.  When 
its  intellectual  principles  led  its  true  followers  beyond  these 
bounds,  its  onward  course  was  necessarily  and  violently  sepa- 
rated from  the  place  which  had  witnessed  its  birth  :  but  it  left 
behind  it  seeds  of  mental  activity  and  a  thirst  for  truth  and  pro- 
gress which  have  still  their  effect  upon  the  University,  which, 
under  many  and  great  disadvantages,  has  been  raised  by  these 
and  other  influences  from  the  comparative  degradation  which 
had  characterized  it,  with  almost  unbroken  uniformity,  from  the 
days  of  the  Reformation  to  our  own. 

We  are  not  about  to  compare  two  things  in  themselves  so 
difl'erent  in  principle  and  in  history  as  what  is  called  the  Ox- 
ford movement  of  our  own  time  and  the  formation  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus.  Both,  however,  illustrate  the  importance  of 
securing,  as  the  startingpoint  of  a  powerful  movement,  some 
great  centre  of  intellectual  activity,  some  stronghold  of  learning 
frequented  by  large  numbers  and  successive  generations  of 
students  in  the  opening  prime  of  life  and  in  the  first  vigour  of 
mental  energy.     Every  great  movement,    and,  in  particular, 

St,  Francis  Xavier. 

every  great  religious  movement,  depends,  as  far  as  human 
means  are  concerned,  on  the  force  with  which  it  may  draw 
to  itself  a  larger  or  smaller  proportion  of  the  rich  growth  of 
generous,  intelligent,  and  powerful  minds  with  which  each 
generation  of  a  healthy  Christian  community  may  be  assumed 
to  teem ;  and  the  place  where  such  minds  are  collected,  where 
they  flourish  and  develope  under  a  congenial  air,  and  under 
the  influence  of  their  own  mutual  attraction  and  collision,  is 
generally  to  be  found  in  the  Universities.  Both  of  the  move- 
ments of  which  we  speak  illustrate,  though  not  to  an  equal  de- 
gree, the  manner  in  which  minds  which  begin  with  a  simple 
thirst  for  knowledge  for  its  own  sake  may  become  the  most 
fitting  and  powerful  instruments  for  ends  far  higher  than  those 
which  they  at  first  set  before  themselves.  Such  minds  are 
naturally  to  be  found  at  Universities,  and  when  they  are  taken 
captive  by  some  revelation  of  the  glories  and  beauties  of  the 
ancient  Church,  of  the  noble  end  for  which  man  was  created, 
and  of  the  importance  of  salvation  and  perfection,  they  are 
often  formed  into  the  mightiest  weapons  of  the  armoury  of  the 
Church.  They  are  *  not  incredulous  to  the  heavenly  vision,' 
and  their  devotion  of  themselves  to  its  behests  is  the  welfare 
of  thousands  of  souls.  And  those  who  have  inherited  the  bene- 
fits of  the  connection  of  the  later  movement  with  the  great 
seat  of  learned  education  in  England  may  well  linger  with 
pleasure  over  the  thought  of  those  few  years,  in  the  first  half  of 
the  sixteenth  century,  when  a  little  band  of  students  in  the 
University  of  Paris  found  themselves  united  together  under 
the  spiritual  leadership  of  Ignatius  of  Loyola,  for  the  purpose 
of  following  a  rule  of  life  founded  upon  the  Exercises,  and  with 
the  determination  to  spend  their  lives  simply  in  work  for  the 
greater  glory  of  God,  and  when  the  Society  of  Jesus  issued 
irom  their  union. 

When,  in  February  1528,  Ignatius  arrived  in  Paris,  he  was 
already  of  middle  age.-     Seven  years,  full  of  events  in  his  per- 
sonal and  spiritual  history,  had  passed  since  his  conversion  to 
God  by  the  reading  of  Ludolph  of  Saxony's  Life  of  Jesus  Christ 
2  He  was  in  his  thirty-seventh  year. 

The  University  of  Pans, 

and  the  Lives  of  the  Saints,  as  he  lay  on  his  sickbed,  slowly  re- 
covering from  the  effects  of  the  wound  which  he  had  received 
in  the  breach  at  Pampeluna.  They  had  been  years  of  rare 
favours  and  lights  received  from  God,  of  deep  spiritual  expe- 
rience, and  of  the  most  unquestionable  fruits  of  the  highest 
sanctity  in  the  souls  of  others  whom  he  had  laboured  to  win 
to  God.  They  had  seen  him  in  his  seclusion  at  Manresa,  and 
in  his  voyage  and  visit  to  that  Holy  Land  which  left  such  in- 
effaceable marks  upon  his  memory,  and  which  drew  to  itself  the 
first  deliberate  choice  of  his  apostolic  zeal.  Early  in  this  time 
he  had  composed  his  book  of  the  Spiritual  Exercises,  and  had 
had  distinctly  revealed  to  him  the  outline  and  plan  of  the 
Order  which  he  was  to  found  upon  them  in  the  Church.  He 
had  lived  with  the  reputation  of  a  saint  at  Barcelona,  at  Alcala, 
and  at  Salamanca ;  everywhere  persecution,  the  shadow  of 
sanctity,  as  well  as  the  admiration  of  good  Christians,  had 
waited  upon  him.  At  Barcelona  he  had  been  assaulted  and 
left  for  dead  by  the  agents  of  some  gay  cavaliers  who  could 
not  brook  the  return  to  strictness  and  cloistral  observances 
which  he  had  introduced  into  a  convent  of  nuns  with  whom 
they  were  acquainted.  At  Alcala  he  had  been  imprisoned  on 
account  of  the  imprudent  devotion  of  some  noble  ladies  whom 
he  had  converted,  and  who  had  set  off  alone  and  without 
money  upon  a  long  pilgrimage ;  and  at  Salamanca  also  he 
had  been  imprisoned,  on  suspicion  of  being  an  unauthorized 
teacher  of  new  doctrines.  In  all  these  cases,  the  violence  or 
the  injustice  with  which  he  had  been  treated  had  redounded  to 
his  greater  credit  and  attracted  to  him  still  greater  veneration, 
and  the  inquiries  that  had  been  made  into  his  life  and  conver- 
sation had  issued  in  the  fullest  and  most  formal  declaration  of 
his  innocence,  and  even  of  his  sanctity.  But  he  had  as  yet 
made  no  progress  towards  the  formation  of  that  body  of  men 
who  were  to  be  his  associates  and  children  in  the  great  work 
for  the  glory  of  God,  which  was  the  one  engrossing  object  of 
his  life.  His  first  companions,  men  who  had  known  him  at 
Barcelona,  had  gone  with  him  to  Alcala,  and  who  had  shared 
his  persecutions  there,  had  fallen  away  from  him ;  he  had  met 

St,  Francis  Xavier, 

some  who  were  afterwards  to  be  among  the  most  eminent  of 
his  spiritual  children — Martin  Olave  had  given  him  alms,  and 
Francis  Borgia,  then  a  brilliant  young  noble  of  seventeen,  had 
seen  him  led  through  the  streets  of  the  same  city  between  two 
officers  of  justice.  We  shall  find  that  some  of  his  future  com- 
panions were  afterwards  attracted  to  Paris  by  the  reputation  he 
had  left  behind  him  in  Spain.  Still,  when  he  came  to  the 
French  capital  he  was  alone.  Even  his  first  converts  in  Paris 
afterwards  fell  off— Juan  de  Castro,  Peralta,  and  another,  whom 
he  had  nevertheless  admitted  to  those  Exercises  which  he  often 
long  delayed  in  the  case  of  souls  from  whom  he  hoped  much, 
and  who,  as  a  proof  of  their  sincerity,  had  sold  their  property, 
given  it  to  the  poor,  and  taken  up  their  abode  at  St.  Jacques 
de  I'Hopital,  living  upon  alms. 

After  his  return  from  the  Holy  Land,  we  see  nothing  more 
in  Ignatius  of  that  overpowering  love  of  solitude  and  seclusion 
which  had  characterized  him  in  his  earlier  fervour  in  the  cave 
of  Manresa ;  henceforth  his  time  was  to  be  given  to  the  great 
centres  of  life,  as  if  in  obedience  to  that  characteristic  love  of 
such  scenes  of  action  which  was  afterwards  impressed  on  his 
Society,  and  which  is  commemorated  in  the  well-known  Latin 
distich,  which  we  may  thus  paraphrase — 

In  sheltered  valleys  Bernard  loved  to  dwell, 
St.  Bennet  chose  the  mountain's  lonely  crest, 

In  towns  St.  Francis  fixed  his  peaceful  cell, 
But  mighty  cities  pleased  Ignatius  best.^ 

But  it  was  not  every  ^great  city,  nor  even  every  University, 
that  could  be  the  nursing  mother  of  such  an  Order  as  that 
which  he  was  called  to  found.  The  severe  orthodoxy  of  the 
Spanish  seats  of  learning  saved  them  from  the  invasions  of 
heretical  teachers  and  dangerous  opinions,  but  they  lacked 
also  the  stir  of  mind  and  conflict  of  argument  which  accom- 
pany such  invasions,  and  some  experience  of  which  may  be 
requisite  in  those  who  are  to  meet  falsehood  most  successfully, 

3  Bernardus  valles,  montes  Benedictus  araabat, 
Oppida  Franciscus,  magnas  Ignatius  urbes. 

The  University  of  Pans. 

Perhaps  the  Society,  composed  as  it  was  at  first  in  great  mea- 
sure of  Spaniards,  would  have  been  too  exclusively  national  in 
character,  if  Alcala  or  Salamanca,  instead  of  Paris,  had  been 
the  place  of  its  birth.  At  all  events,  Ignatius  failed  if  he 
really  attempted  to  found  it  in  Spain.  But  his  long-deferred 
success  came  at  last.  The  two  first,  and  in  some  sense  the 
two  greatest,  of  his  spiritual  disciples  were  awaiting  him  in 
Paris  at  the  College  of  St.  Barbara,  where  they  had  already 
for  some  years  been  intimate  friends,  sharing  even  the  same 
room.^  These  two  were  Peter  Favre,  a  native  of  Villaret,  in 
the  diocese  of  Geneva,  and  Francis  Xavier,  a  native  of  Na- 
varre, born  fifteen  years^  after  Ignatius  himself,  at  the  Castle  of 
Xavier,  a  few  leagues  distant  from  Pampeluna. 

Our  main  business  is  with  the  last  and  most  famous  of 
these  two,,  but  the  beautiful  and  winning  character  of  Peter 

4  There  were  at  that  time  a  great  number  of  Colleges  at  Paris.  A  short  ac- 
count of  more  than  forty  will  be  found  in  F.  Prat's  Maldonat  et  V  University  de 
Paris  au  seizihne  Sihcle,  p.  527,  Paris,  1856.  These  are  said  to  be  the  '  prin- 
cipal' Colleges.  The  whole  of  the  city  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Seine  was  oc- 
cupied by  the  University.  The  foundation  of  the  College  Royale  by  Francis  I. , 
which  gave  an  impulse  to  the  studies  at  the  same  time  that  it  aroused  the  jeal- 
ousies of  the  University,  took  place  in  1531 — at  the  very  time,  therefore,  when 
Ignatius  and  his  companions  were  students.  The  influence  of  the  new  College 
was  favourable  to  innovations  of  every  kind,  and  naturally  gave  umbrage  to  the 
orthodox.  Calvin  had  studied  at  the  College  Montaigu,  where  Ignatius  attended 
the  classes  of  •*  humanities, '  a  few  years  before  his  arrival,  and  he  returned  from 
Bourges  to  Pan,,  to  disseminate  heresy  in  1534.  Ramus,  another  great  innovator, 
came  to  Paris  m  1523,  and  began  by  attaching  himself  as  servant  to  a  rich  stu- 
dent at  the  College  of  Navarre.  He  took  his  degree  as  Master  of  Arts  in  1536, 
two  years  after  Ignatius.  The  Colleges  were  originally  the  places  of  residence 
of  the  scholars,  many  of  whom  lived  on  '  burses'  attached  to  the  foundation. 
They  were  under  the  care  of  a  '  regent,'  who  took  them  to  the  public  lectures  of 
the  University.  Afterwards  the  teaching  was  carried  on  in  the  Colleges  them- 
selves, as  at  the  English  Universities  at  the  present  day.  St  Ignatius  did  not 
proceed  to  the  College  of  St.  Barbara  till  after  he  had  spent  nearly  a  year  in 
Paris,  during  which  he  appears,  as  has  been  said,  to  have  studied  '  humanities.' 
It  is  asserted  that  there  were  between  twelve  and  sixteen  thousand  students  in 
Paris  at  this  period. 

5  The  earlier  biographers  of  St.  Francis  gave  the  year  1497  as  that  of  his 
birth.  (St.  Ignatius  was  born  in  1491. )  But  Poussines,  a  later,  and  in  some  respects 
a  more  accurate  writer,  gives  good  reason  for  supposing  that  so  early  a  date  is 
an  error,  and  quotes  an  old  register  of  the  family,  in  which  April  7th,  1506,  is 
fixed  as  the;  day  of  his  birth.     It  was  the  Tuesday  in  Holy  Week. 

8  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

Favre  tempts  us  to  linger  over  the  first  mention  of  his  name. 
When  Ignatius  arrived  in  Paris,  Peter  Favre  was  in  his  twenty- 
second  year,  and  already  far  advanced  in  his  studies  in  philo- 
sophy. Piety  and  simplicity  were  combined  in  him  with  a 
singular  love  of  study  and  a  remarkable  appreciation  of  the 
value  of  intellectual  gifts.  His  parents,  though  not  wealthy, 
had  made  great  efforts  to  support  him  as  a  student,  and  this 
he  accounted  as  one  of  the  great  blessings  of  his  life.  At  the 
age  of  ten,  when  tending  his  father's  sheep,  he  had  been  in- 
spired with  a  very  ardent  desire  of  knowledge,  and  had  begged 
most  earnestly  from  his  parents  the  privilege  of  a  good  educa- 
tion. They  consented,  and  placed  him  under  the  charge  of  a 
master,  Pierre  Veillard,  of  whom  he  always  spoke  with  the  most 
intense  gratitude,  and  whom  after  his  death  he  used  to  invoke 
as  a  saint.  Veillard's  means  raised  him  above  the  necessity  of 
teaching  for  gain,  but  he  kept  school  for  the  love  of  imparting 
knowledge,  and  he  took  care  to  season  his  lessons  with  instruc- 
tions in  piety.  Peter  Favre  said  of  him  that  he  had  a  way  of 
making  the  profane  authors  whom  he  taught  speak  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Gospel.  The  possibility  of  this  will  be  denied  by 
no  one  who  is  acquainted  with  the  spirit  in  which  the  Catholic 
Church  has,  from  the  first,  sanctioned  the  use  of  the  great 
masters  of  Greek  and  Roman  literature  in  the  education  of  her 
own  children.  The  classics  are  dangerous  if  taught  m  any  other 
spirit,  but  when  they  are  used  in  accordance  with  this,  they  are 
not  only  harmless,  but  full  of  beauties  and  fruitful  in  advan- 
tages which  can  be  found  nowhere  else.  After  two  years  of 
study  under  a  master  of  this  kind,  we  find  the  young  Peter 
Favre  solemnly  consecrating  himself  to  God  by  a  vow  Oi"  chas- 
tity; and  he  has  left  it  on  record  that  his  fondness  fcr  study 
helped  him  greatly  to  keep  his  vow,  as  well  as  to  escape 
numerous  temptations  and  to  make  progress  in  virtue.  At  the 
age  of  eighteen  he  went  to  the  University  of  Paris,  and  began 
his  pliilosophical  studies  under  Juan  Peiia,  at  the  College  of 
St.  Barbara.  He  became  at  once  the  most  distinguir^hed  and 
favourite  pupil  of  his  master,  and  when  Ignatius  presented  him- 
self for  the  same  purpose,  and  took  up  his  abode  in  the  same 

The  University  of  Paris, 

room  with  Peter  Favre  and  Francis  Xavier,  Peter  was  selected 
by  Pena  to  '  repeat'  the  lectures  on  philosophy  to  the  new  stu- 
dent, with  whom  he  soon  became  very  intimate. 

Francis  Xavier,  with  whom  Ignatius  was  thus  brought  into 
contact  at  the  same  time  as  with  Peter  Favre,  was  of  a  dif- 
ferent character  from  the  gentle  and  simple  Savoyard,  though 
like  him  in  the  purity  of  his  life,  in  the  excellence  of  his  intel- 
lectual gifts,  and  in  his  devotion  to  study.  The  youngest  son 
of  a  large  and  very  noble  family,  he  had  early  surprised  his 
relatives  by  preferring  the  pursuit  of  letters  to  that  of  war.  The 
name  of  his  family  came  from  his  mother,  the  sole  heiress  of 
the  houses  of  Azpilqueta  and  Xavier.  His  father,  Juan  de 
Jasso,^  was  also  of  noble  and  ancient  family,  but  he  was  a  man 
of  the  robe  and  the  pen,  high  in  employment  with  the  King  of 
Aragon,  and  he  was  not  sorry  to  see  Francis  inclined  to  a 
career  more  like  his  own  than  that  of  a  soldier ;  so  he  made 
the  effort  that  was  required  to  send  his  son  to  Paris  without 
reluctance,  though  not  without  difficulty.  It  is  disappointing 
that  we  should  be  left  so  very  much  to  our  imagination  if  we 
would  form  a  picture  of  the  earlier  years  of  one  who  became 
afterwards  so  singularly  attractive  as  well  as   so  wonderfully 

6  The  account  given  by  Turselline,  the  earliest  biographer  of  St.  Francis,  is 
as  follows.  (We  quote  an  old  English  translation,  to  which  we  shall  often  have 
recourse.)  Juan  de  Jasso,  he  says,  was  '  a  man  noble  both  for  antiquity  of  his 
family  and  wealth,  but  especially  for  his  learning  and  prudence,  as  being  the 
chosen  Privy  Councillor  to  King  John  of  Navarre.  He  now  having,  through 
the  persuasion  of  his  father  in  law,  removed  his  dwelling  from  the  Castle  Jasso, 
the  ancient  seat  of  his  ancestors,  to  Xavier,  his  wife's  jointure,  arid  having  more 
fortunate  success  in  marriage  than  his  said  father  in  law  had — [Martin  Azpilqueta 
was  the  father  in  law,  who  had  married  Jane  Xavier,  and  had  no  child  but  Mary, 
the  sole  heiress  of  the  two  families,  and  the  mother  of  our  saint] — provided  better 
for  the  family  of  the  Xaviers  than  for  his  own.  For  having  by  Mary  many  chil- 
dren, whereof  this  our  Francis  was  one,  he  began  to  take  great  care  how  he 
might  keep  up  two  of  the  most  ancient  families  of  Navarre,  which  were  now 
somewhat  in  declining.  Whereupon  he  resolved  to  leave  the  name  of  his  own 
family,  although  it  were  neither  mean  nor  obscure,  and  to  give  his  children  and 
posterity  the  name  of  his  wife's  kindred,  so  as  some  of  them  were  called  Azpil- 
quetas,  others  Xaviers. '  The  same  use  of  two  family  names  seems  to  have  been 
common  in  Spain.  St.  Teresa  was  the  issue  of  the  marriage  of  a  Cepeda  and  a 
Ahumada,  and  the  children  divided  the  names.  She  was  Teresa  de  Ahumada, 
her  brother  Lorenzo  de  Cepeda,  and  so  on. 

lo  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

holy.  But  no  one  has  preserved  for  us  any  childish  anecdote 
of  St.  Francis  which  may  be  placed  by  the  side  of  St.  Teresa's 
youthful  attempt  at  martyrdom,  when  she  set  out  with  her  little 
brother  to  seek  it  at  the  hands  of  the  Moors.  We  are  left  to 
infer  his  sweetness  of  disposition,  his  high  and  quick  spirit,  his 
generosity  and  courage,  as  a  boy  or  a  youth,  from  the  evidence 
of  these  qualities  which  meet  us  in  him  in  after  years.  We  can 
draw  no  picture  on  which  we  can  rely  of  the  family  group  at 
the  Castle  of  Xavier.  There  was  the  highborn  tender  mother, 
who  may  have  loved  him  specially  as  the  youngest  of  her  chil- 
dren, and  whom  in  after  years  he  was  to  pass  by  unvisited  on 
his  road  to  the  Indies,  not  only,  perhaps,  that  he  might  fulfil  to 
the  letter  the  injunction  of  our  Lord,^  but  also  because  it  might 
have  cost  him  too  much  to  expose  her  and  himself  to  the  sor- 
rows of  a  parting  interview.  The  father,  the  man  of  business, 
skilled  in  the  management  of  affairs,  and  the  trusted  servant  of 
his  Sovereign,  would  be  of  a  different  character,  while  the  many 
sons  probably  despised  their  father's  profession,  and  considered 
that  Francis  had  made  a  strange  choice  in  giving  himself  to  let- 
ters. There  was  one  of  the  sisters,  Maddalena,  who  might  have 
trained  him  in  saintly  ways,  as  she  became  herself  renowned 
for  sanctity,  but  she  probably  left  her  home  early  to  hold  a  post 
at  the  Court  of  Queen  Isabella,  before  she  renounced  the  world 
to  become  the  famous  Abbess  of  the  Poor  Clares  at  Gandia. 

The  scanty  account  which  we  have  of  Francis  Xavier  as  a 
boy  represent  him  as  piously  brought  up,  and  carefully  trained 
even  in  such  booklearning  as  was  then  given  to  youth.  *  He 
was  of  an  excellent  constitution  and  comeliness  of  person,  of  a 
great  and  sharp  wit,  given  more  to  his  book  than  usually  chil- 
dren are.  None  more  innocent,  none  more  pleasant,  none 
more  affable  than  he:  which  made  him  beloved  of  all,  both  at 
home  and  abroad.'^  His  purity  was  remarkable  at  this  early 
age,  and  he  preserved  it  unsullied  to  the  end  of  his  life.  '  His 
chastity,'  continues  the  same  author,  *  as  is  the  nature  thereof, 
sharpened  his  wit,  and  prepared  his  mind  as  a  most  pure  soil  to 

7  Ne?ninefn  per  viant  salutaveritis  (St.  Luke  x.  4). 

8  Turselline,  lib.  i.  c.  i. 

The  University  of  Paris,  1 1 

receive  the  seeds  of  wisdom.  Therefore,  making  no  account  of 
his  brothers*  words,  who  went  about  by  warlike  discourses  to 
draw  him  to  be  a  man  of  arms  (the  ancient  ornament  of  their 
ancestors),  he  stuck  close  to  his  resolution,  and  whether  stirred 
up  by  the  late  example  of  his  father,  or  drawn  by  the  delight  of 
knowledge,  or  moved  by  divine  instinct,  he  preferred  the  glory 
of  learning  before  warlike  praises.'  But  he  still  preserved  '  the 
desire  of  honour,  and  was  of  a  high  and  lofty  spirit.'  Both 
these  qualities  of  purity  and  nobility  of  aim  were  needed  when, 
in  the  eighteenth  year  of  his  age,  he  was  sent  by  his  father  to 
the  University  of  Paris,  where  he  was  already  well-known  and 
highly  distinguished  when,  four  years  later,  Ignatius  followed 
him  thither.  He  finished  his  earlier  studies,  and  was  made 
Master  of  Arts  in  1530.  He  then  lectured  for  some  time  on 
the  logic,  metaphysics,  and  physics  of  Aristotle,  at  the  College 
Beauvais.  The  University  was  at  that  time  neither  perfect  in 
discipline  nor  immaculate  in  morals,  or  even  in  orthodoxy. 
The  multitudes  of  young  men  who  flocked  thither  from  all 
parts  were  probably  exposed  to  as  great  temptations  as  are  now 
incurred  by  the  students  of  any  Continental  University,  and 
on  account  of  the  entire  absence  of  moral  supervision,  to 
greater  than  are  to  be  met  with,  as  an  ordinary  rule,  under  the 
collegiate  system  of  Oxford  and  Cambridge.  Francis  was  bril- 
liant and  industrious,  and  his  whole  character  and  bearing 
breathed  a  singular  purity — a  virtue  against  which  many  snares 
were  sure  to  be  laid  in  an  atmosphere  like  that  of  Paris,  and 
which  the  scanty  discipline  and  independent  life  of  the  students 
did  not  do  much  to  protect.  That  he  lived  pure  is  a  sign  that 
he  could  not  have  been  eaten  up  by  pride,  vanity,  and  ambition ; 
but  at  the  time  of  which  we  are  speaking  he  enjoyed  his  own 
great  reputation  and  success,  and  the  perfection  of  Christian 
humility  and  love  of  contempt  had  not  conquered  in  his  heart 
the  high  thoughts  of  opening  manhood  and  the  native  haughti- 
ness of  his  race.  He  had  a  heart  capable  of  the  largest  devo- 
tion and  the  fullest  selfsacrifice,  a  vigour  of  will  that  could 
never  have  stopped  short  of  success  in  any  career  to  which  he 
had  once  given  himself,  a  mind  above  the  world,  and  yet — 

1 2  St,  Francis  Xavien 

because  the  light  from  heaven  which  was  to  guide  him  to  the 
high  sanctity  to  which  he  was  destined  had  not  yet  shone  upon 
it — ^incHned  for  the  moment  to  occupy  itself  with  such  glories 
as  that  of  a  great  teacher  of  philosophy,  a  renowned  doctor,  or 
a  brilliant  Prelate.  He  himself  tells  us,  in  the  first  of  his  letters, 
that  he  had  nbt  escaped  exposure  to  the  danger  of  the  corrupt 
doctrines  which  were  insidiously  disseminated  among  the  youth 
of  the  University.  He  had  been  too  ready  to  trust  the  fair  ap- 
pearances of  some  men  of  his  own  age,  of  ready  wit  and  great 
accomplishments,  who  were  infected  by  heresy,  and  who  might 
in  time  have  led  him  astray  after  them.  From  this  danger  he 
was  saved  by  means  of  the  greatest  of  all  the  blessings  he  re- 
ceived at  Paris — the  friendship  of  Ignatius. 

Yet,  strange  to  say,  Francis  Xavier  was  by  no  means  easily 
won  to  accept  this  friendship  as  a  blessing,  and  his  case  is  not 
altogether  uncommon  or  unintelligible.  There  is  often  an  air 
of  sadness  and  a  reserve  about  men  of  lofty  minds  and  large  in- 
tellectual powers  who  have  not  yet  been  ennobled  by  a  great 
religious  vocation,  as  if  they,  most  of  all  men,  felt  instinctively 
the  little  that  the  world  can  ask  them  to  do  and  the  emptiness 
of  its  rewards,  and  yet  were  not  awake  to  the  opportunities  of 
mighty  work  and  of  glorious  crowns  which  are  open  to  those 
whom  God  calls  to  His  service.  When  their  own  vocation  be- 
comes manifest  to  them,  their  trial  corresponds  exactly  to  that 
of  the  young  man  in  the  Gospel,  whose  eagerness  in  asking  his 
question  as  to  perfection  was  a  proof  of  the  uneasiness  with 
which  his  soul  was  secretly  consumed.  Q7Md  adhuc  mihi  deest  ? 
are  the  words  of  one  who  feels  a  want  he  does  not  know  how 
to  supply.  Then  comes  the  revelation  of  the  truth  which  tests 
their  hearts  to  the  very  core — Si  vis  perfedus  esse,  vade^  et  vende 
077inia  qiicEpossides,  et  da  pauper ibus,  et  hahebis  thesanriim  in  coelo, 
et  venij  seqicere  Me  ! :  and  when  those  who  have  been  more  faith- 
ful to  so  gracious  though  so  severe  an  invitation  than  he  to 
whom  it  was  first  given,  look  back  on  their  state  before  their 
surrender  to  grace, — whether  that  surrender  be  made  at  once 
or  only  after  an  internal  struggle, — they  are  often  inclined  to 
accuse  themselves  of  pride,  of  vanity,  of  a  contempt  of  Httleness 

The  University  of  Paris. 

and  humility,  which  certainly  at  the  time  were  not  conscious 
and  deliberate  faults.  Another  characteristic  of  minds  as  yet  in 
a  state  of  struggle  and  uncertainty  is  a  sort  of  instinctive  fear  of, 
and  shrinking  from,  the  persons  or  things  which  seem  either  to 
rebuke  their  hesitation  or  to  have  the  power  of  forcing  upon 
them  a  clearer  and  keener  light  as  to  the  will  of  God.  They 
feel  themselves  in  the  presence  of  a  master  whose  eye  is  read- 
ing their  soul,  and  they  often  take  occasion,  from  any  mistakes 
that  may  be  made  in  the  manner  of  dealing  with  them,  or  even 
from  personal  and  accidental  circumstances  of  birth,  or  condi- 
tion, or  character,  or  antecedents,  in  those  who  approach  them, 
to  recoil  from  advances' made  to  them,  or  interest  and  kindness 
displayed  towards  them.  '  The  word  of  God  is  living  and  effec- 
tual, and  more  piercing  than  any  two-edged  sword,  and  reach- 
ing unto  the  division  of  the  soul  and  the  spirit,  of  the  joints 
also  and  the  marrow,  and  is  a  discerner  of  the  thoughts  and  in- 
tents of  the  heart'^  The  presence  of  those  who  have  the  gift 
of  making  us  read  our  own  characters  and  vocations  more 
clearly  than  before  is  often  felt  by  human  nature  as  that  of  a 
sword  pointed  at  our  hearts. 

Peter  Favre  and  Francis  Xavier  stand  by  themselves  at 
the  head  of  the  famous  six  men  who  formed  with  Ignatius  the 
first  members  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.  The  other  four  had  high 
qualities  enough  to  interest  us  intensely  if  they  were  not  some- 
what cast  into  the  shade  by  those  two.  We  must  mention  them 
very  briefly,  in  order  to  pass  on  to  matters  more  immediately 
belonging  to  our  subject.  Simon  Rodriguez  ofAzevedowas 
the  first  in  order  of  time  to  form  acquaintance  with  Ignatius. 
He  was  a  Portuguese,  born  at  Vinzella.  Both  his  father's  family 
— he  was  a  Gonsalvez — and  his  mother's,  whose  name  Simon 
took,  are  illustrious  in  the  annals  of  the  Society.  He  was  a 
child  in  arms  when  his  father  died,  and  the  good  Gonsalvez 
had  commended  him  prophetically  to  the  special  care  of  his 
mother  as  one  for  whom  God  intended  a  great  destiny  in  the 
Church.  The  King  of  Portugal  had  at  his  own  expense  sent 
him  to  Paris  to  study,  and  his  devotion  had  inspired  him  v/ith 

9  Heb.  iv.  £2. 

14  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

designs  somewhat  like  those  formed  by  Ignatius  himself,  of  an 
apostolic  life  in  the  Holy  Land.  When,  therefore,  he  made 
acquaintance  with  Ignatius,  he  was  easily  disposed  to  join  him 
and  put  himself  under  his  guidance.  We  have  a  special  debt 
of  gratitude  to  Simon  Rodriguez,  as  he  alone  of  the  first  dis- 
ciples of  Ignatius  has  left  us  in  writing  an  account  of  the  early 
years  of  the  Society.  After  Simon,  we  find  James  Laynez,  Al- 
fonsus  Salmeron,  and  Nicolas  Bobadilla,  joining  the  silently 
formed  company ;  silently,  indeed,  for  each  one  was  unaware 
of  the  thoughts  and  intentions  of  the  rest,  and  supposed  him- 
self to  be  the  only  friend  and  associate  of  Ignatius. 

Laynez  was  about  the  same  age  as  Peter  Favre  and  Fran- 
cis Xavier ;  Salmeron  was  younger  still — but  little  more  than 
eighteen — but  he  was  already  known  as  a  prodigy  of  learning. 
These  two  men,  who  of  all  the  first  companions  of  Ignatius 
were  the  most  learned,  and  were  destined  to  become  the  most 
conspicuous  as  theologians,  were  yet  attracted  to  Paris,  as  we 
are  assured,  from  Alcala,  where  they  had  made  their  studies, 
less  by  an  esteem  for  the  advantages  of  the  great  University 
than  by  their  desire  to  make  the  acquaintance  of  Ignatius,  of 
whose  sanctity  they  had  heard  so  much  in  the  very  place  where 
he  had  been  persecuted  and  imprisoned.  We  are  told  that 
Ignatius  chanced  to  pass  as  they  were  dismounting  from  their 
horses  on  their  arrival  at  Paris,  and  that  Laynez  at  once  felt 
sure  that  it  was  he  of  whom  he  had  heard  so  much,  and  went 
up  to  speak  to  him.  Theology,  properly  so  called,  was  the 
study  in  which  Laynez  particularly  excelled ;  Salmeron  was 
famous  for  his  knowledge  of  the  ancient  languages,  including 
Hebrew.  Salmeron's  character  is  stamped  for  us  on  the  admir- 
able and  copious  commentaries  on  the  New  Testament  which 
he  has  left  behind  him,  which  combine  to  a  degree  uncommon 
even  among  Catholic  and  religious  commentators  the  qualities 
of  solidity,  clearness,  piety,  and  the  soundest  judgment.  Sal- 
meron was  also  a  great,  fluent,  and  very  effective  preacher, 
and  it  is  this  perhaps  which  gives  their  peculiar  character  to 
his  commentaries,  which  sometimes  seem  about  to  glide  into 
sermons.     They  may  be  considered,  indeed,  in  many  respects 

The  University  of  Paris,  15 

as  furnishing  the  type  for  those  Lectiones  Sacrce,  or  Lectures 
on  Scripture  in  the  form  of  Sermons,  which  afterwards  became 
an  institution  in  the  Society  and  in  the  Church,  and  which 
have  often  been  published  in  books  of  great  value.  The 
splendid  career  of  Laynez  as  a  theologian  at  the  Council  of 
Trent,  his  succeeding  Ignatius  as  the  second  General  of  his 
Order,  and  the  design  seriously  entertained  by  a  large  number 
of  the  Cardinals  to  raise  him  to  the  Pontifical  throne  after  the 
death  of  Paul  IV.,  are  too  well  known  to  be  dwelt  upon  in 
detail  here.  He  left  behind  him,  we  believe,  several  treatises 
of  theology  in  manuscript,  and  we  can  hardly  imagine  a  more 
valuable  monument  of  the  soundest  theology  of  the  age  of  the 
Council  of  Trent.  But,  though  the  manuscript  exists,  the  hand- 
writing is  said  to  be  absolutely  illegible.  Nicolas  Bobadilla 
completes  the  inner  circle  of  Parisian  students  around  St.  Ig- 
natius. He  had  studied  *  humanities'  at  Valladolid,  and  had 
come  to  Paris  to  study  philosophy.  Ignatius  was  already  well 
enough  known  to  be  continually  supplied  with  alms  for  his  own 
support,  and  these  were  even  more  abundant  than  his  necessi- 
ties required.  The  Spanish  merchants  in  the  Low  Countries, 
and  still  more  those  in  England,  gave  liberally  to  him.  He 
was  thus  able  to  pursue  his  studies  without  interruption,  and 
also  to  help  other  students  like  himself.  Nicolas  was  poor  and 
unknown,  and  became  the  friend  of  Ignatius  in  the  first  in- 
stance by  being  the  receiver  of  his  charitable  aid.  He  was  a 
man  of  great  ability  and  devotion,  more  fitted,  however,  to  be 
guided  than  to  guide,  and  whose  zeal  in  after  years  not  unfre- 
quently  overcame  his  prudence.  It  is  strange  to  remember 
that  he  it  was  of  the  first  companions  of  Ignatius  who,  if  the 
arrangement  first  made  had  been  carried  out,  would  have  had 
the  great  work  assigned  to  him  which  was  accomplished  by 
Francis  Xavier.  Providence  overruled  the  plan,  by  keeping 
Bobadilla  on  a  bed  of  sickness  until  the  time  had  passed  for 
the  Father  demanded  by  the  King  of  Portugal  to  set  out  from 
Rome,  and  so  Francis  Xavier  was  sent  instead.  Useful  as 
Bobadilla  might  have  been,  we  can  hardly  think  that  the 
Indies  lost  by  the  exchange. 

1 5  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

It  takes  but  a  short  time  to  run  through  the  few  particular 
details  which  require  notice  as  to  the  seven  years  (1528 — 1535) 
which  were  passed  by  Ignatius  in  Paris,  and  which  witnessed 
the  quiet  and  deliberate  formation  of  the  first  Fathers  of  the 
Society.  We  catch  glimpses  of  his  visit  to  Flanders  and  Eng- 
land for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  alms,  of  the  widespread  influ- 
ence which  he  exercised  in  Paris  over  many  besides  those  who 
became  his  intimate  companions,  of  the  opposition  which  a 
character  and  a  work  like  his  was  certain  to  meet  with,  of 
heroic  acts  of  charity  and  mortification,  of  persecution  and 
public  suspicion,  and  of  one  or  two  attempts  at  violence  against 
him.  It  cannot  surprise  us  to  hear  of  his  failure  in  some  cases 
to  win  the  souls  to  which  he  laid  siege.  Many  must  have 
turned  away  from  him  sorrowfully,  and  it  seems  certain  that  if 
the  results  of  his  labour  for  souls  at  the  University  were  to  be 
measured  by  the  actual  numbers  of  those  whom  he  induced  to 
join  his  Society,  he  might  to  human  eyes  have  appeared  to 
have  toiled  almost  in  vain.  But,  in  fact,  his  apostleship  was 
far  too  wide  in  its  influence  to  be  estimated  by  this  test,  and 
he  was  himself  too  clearsighted,  too  prudent,  and  too  single- 
minded  to  wish  to  shape  all  the  souls  that  came  under  his 
influence  in  the  particular  mould  and  form  which  character- 
ized the  men  of  the  Society.  The  anecdotes  which  remain 
to  us  of  this  time  show  us  how  he  was  perpetually  on  the  watch 
to  do  good  in  any  form  or  degree.  His  charity  was  remark- 
able for  its  refined  ingenuity.  He  brought  the  victim  of  a 
criminal  passion  of  the  worst  kind  to  abandon  the  occasion  of 
sin,  by  placing  himself  up  to  his  neck  in  water  under  a  bridge, 
over  which  the  man  had  to  pass  in  his  evening  visits  to  his 
mistress,  and  calling  out  to  him  that  he  was  there  to  do  penance 
for  him.  He  won  back  to  strictness  of  life  a  lax  religious,  by 
making  a  generaj  confession  of  the  whole  of  his  own  life  to  him 
with  the  greatest  compunction  and  exactness.  He  converted 
a  Prelate  of  expensive  habits  and  worldly  life,  by  accepting  his 
challenge  at  a  game  of  chance,  at  which  he  happened  to  find 
him  playing,  on  condition  that  the  loser  should  become  the 
servant  of  the  winner  for  a  month.     By  the  side  of  records  of 

The  University  of  Paris,  v  7 

opposition,  persecution,  and  deafness  to  his  influence,  we  find 
the  most  indisputable  evidence  of  the  deep  general  respect  in 
which  Ignatius  was  held,  and  we  are  told  of  the  very  large 
numbers  whom  he  induced  to  lead  a  more  perfect  life,  or  to 
enter  the  religious  state  in  various  institutions.  For  his  own 
body  he  gained  a  few  noble  and  devoted  souls,  and  we  cannot 
doubt  that  his  chief  care  was  their  gradual  training  and  forma- 
tion. One  greater  than  any  of  the  saints.  One  Whom  Ignatius 
constantly  set  before  himself  as  his  Pattern  and  Master,  had 
spent  three  years  of  the  most  active  apostolical  life,  made  lu- 
minous to  the  whole  world  by  a  perfect  constellation  of  the  most 
marvellous  miracles,  and  at  the  end  of  that  term  the  visible  fruit 
of  His  labours  seemed  to  be  confined  to  a  dozen  intimate  fol- 
lowers— not  strong  enough  to  stand  by  Him  in  the  hour  of  trial 
— a  few  devout  women,  and  some  scores  of  less  matured  dis- 
ciples. Yet  the  Church  was  formed  in  the  formation  of  the  band 
of  the  Apostles,  and  in  her  the  great  instrument  of  the  regenera- 
tion of  the  world  was  brought  to  perfection.  It  may  be  that 
there  is  often  this  analogy  between  the  most  real  and  lasting 
work  of  the  great  saints,  and  the  secret,  quiet,  and  almost  in- 
visible labour  of  the  Incarnate  Son  of  God  in  the  hearts  and 
souls  of  His  Apostles.  Certainly,  in  respect  of  the  point  of 
which  we  are  speaking,  as  the  solid  foundations  of  the  Church 
were  laid  in  our  Lord's  three  years'  ministry,  so  the  seven  years 
which  passed  between  the  arrival  of  Ignatius  in  Paris  and  the 
departure  of  the  first  Jesuits  from  that  capital  on  their  way  to 
Venice,  embrace  the  time  during  which  the  founder  of  the  Society 
of  Jesus  stamped  with  indelible  characters  the  essential  features 
of  his  institute  on  the  souls  of  his  companions,  and  moulded 
them  into  that  spiritual  form  which  they  ever  afterwards  re- 
tained. At  a  later  time,  he  had  no  leisure  for  this  work.  After 
this  time  he  became  the  ruler,  the  prudent  guide,  the  adminis- 
trator of  the  affairs  of  the  body,  and  its  representative  before 
authorities,  secular  and  ecclesiastical,  and  before  the  world  at 
large.  At  this  stage  he  was,  as  it  were,  the  master  of  novices, 
the  patient  cultivator  of  a  few  chosen  souls,  who  was  hereafter 
to  reap  the  fruit  of  his  prayers  and  penances  and  continual 
VOL.  [.  C 

]8  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

watchfulness  in  seeing  his  children  serving  the  Church  in  her 
great  Council,  restoring  the  use  of  the  long-neglected  Sacra- 
ments, staving  off  the  ruin  of  tottering  orthodoxy  in  Germany, 
reforming  the  courtiers  of  Spain,  Portugal,  or  Austria,  begin- 
ning that  internecine  war  with  heresy  and  infidelity  which  has 
ever  been  the  chosen  service  of  their  successors,  or  bearing 
across  the  Atlantic,  or  to  the  newly-opened  worlds  of  India 
and  the  farthest  East,  the  treasure  of  that  Catholic  faith  which 
was  being  spurned  by  so  many  nations  who  had  formerly  been 
among  the  most  devoted  handmaids  of  the  Church. 

Peter  Favre,  the  first  of  the  disciples  of  Ignatius,  is  per- 
haps that  one  of  them  all  as  to  his  dealings  with  whom  we  have 
the  most  detailed  account.  Peter  was  tormented  with  scruples, 
as  well  as  with  temptations  against  the  angelical  virtue  which  he 
had  so  early  in  his  life  vowed  to  God  to  preserve  unto  the  end, 
and  this  interior  misery  seems  to  have  driven  him  for  the  first 
time  to  open  his  heart  to  his  friend,  who  seemed  to  possess  a  se- 
renity and  peace  of  mind,  and  a  gift  of  discernment  as  remark- 
able as  the  purity  of  his  life  and  his  zeal  for  souls.  Ignatius, 
without  at  once  teaching  Peter  to  meditate  on  the  great  mys- 
teries, or  initiating  him  into  the  Exercises,  taught  him  great 
watchfulness  over  himself,  and  some  of  the  methods  of  what  is 
called  the  *  discernment  of  spirits.'  He  further  recommended 
him  to  make  a  general  confession,  and  to  adopt  the  then  unusual 
practice  of  weekly  confession  and  communion.  He  taught  him 
also  the  use  of  the  'particular  examen,'  for  the  purpose,  first,  of 
overcoming  one  by  one  the  faults  that  he  discovered  in  his  own 
character,  taking  the  most  predominant  first,  and  then  of  ac- 
quiring in  the  same  manner  virtue  after  virtue,  continuing  the 
exercise  as  to  each  till  he  had  acquired  the  habit  of  it.  He 
continued  him  in  this  simple  method  for  two  years,  the  term 
afterwards  fixed  in  the  Society  for  the  duration  of  the  novice- 
ship.  It  was  not  till  after  Peter  Favre  had  made  very  great 
progress  under  his  direction,  and  had  resolved  on  placing  him- 
self in  his  hands  for  the  whole  of  his  life,  to  live  after  the  ex- 
ample of  the  Apostles  in  poverty  and  labours  for  the  glory  of 
God,  and  not  till  after  he  had  revisited  his  home  to  bid  it  fare- 

The  University  of  Paris » 

well,  and  had  returned  to  Paris,  that  Ignatius  allowed  him  to 
go  through  the  Spiritual  Exercises  in  the  midst  of  a  very  cold 
winter,  which  gave  his  penitent  an  opportunity  of  practising 
the  severest  mortification  by  exposing  himself  to  the  cold,  as 
well  as  by  prolonging  his  fast  for  several  days.  This  fast  cured 
him  of  a  troublesome  inclination  to  over-eating  with  which  he 
had  been  beset.  Thus  Ignatius  prepared  him  for  receiving 
the  priesthood — first  of  all  the  Society.  In  the  summer  of  the 
same  year  Peter  Favre  celebrated  his  first  mass  on  the  Feast 
of  St.  Mary  Magdalene,  and,  nearly  a  month  later,  it  was  he 
who  said  the  mass  at  the  church  of  our  Lady  at  Montmartre, 
when  all  his  associates  received  Communion  at  his  hands,  and, 
for  the  first  time,  made  their  vows  of  poverty  and  chastity.  It 
was  the  Feast  of  the  Assumption,  1534. 

It  is  remarkable  that  at  this  moment,  from  which  may  be 
dated  the  birth  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  there  was  but  one  other 
of  the  little  band  of  the  followers  of  Ignatius  who  had  not  yet 
passed  through  the  Spiritual  Exercises,  which  had  been  so  long 
delayed  in  the  case  of  Peter  Favre.  That  one  was  Francis 
Xavier.  That  it  should  have  been  so  >shows  the  singular  pati- 
ence and  caution  of  Ignatius  in  dealing  with  this  great  and 
heroic  soul,  though  it  appears  that  a  secondary  reason  for  the 
delay  existed  in  the  occupation  of  Francis  as  a  lecturer  in  phi- 
losophy. Yet  it  seems  hardly  likely  that  this  alone  would  have 
caused  him  to  wait.  It  is  not  impossible  that  Ignatius,  who 
afterwards  put  off  the  celebration  of  his  own  first  mass  for  so 
many  months  after  his  ordination  as  priest,^^  may  in  many  cases 
have  refrained  from  giving  the  Exercises  to  souls  in  whom  he 
hoped  after  a  time  to  see  the  most  perfect  possible  dispositions 
for  so  great  a  spiritual  act,  the  fruits  of  which  must  always  de- 
pend in  considerable  measure  upon  the  fervour  with  which  it 
is  entered  upon.  He  often  used  the  Exercises,  or  some  part  of 
them,  for  the  awakening  and  conversion  of  persons  who  were 

^°  F.  Genelli  remarks  that  St.  Ignatius  '  resolved  to  devote  a  whole  year  to 
his  preparation  for  saying  his  first  Mass,  and  afterwards  added  six  other  months 
to  the  time,  owing  perhaps  to  his  not  having  yet  given  up  all  hope  of  going  to 
Jerusalem,  and  celebrating  for  the  first  time  the  Holy  Sacrifice  on  Calvary,  or  in 
Bethlehem,  at  the  shrine  of  the  Holy  Nativity.'     (Eng.  Tr.  p.  138.) 

20  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

leading  lives  below  their  Christian  profession ;  but  they  were 
also,  in  his  hands,  the  frequent  means  by  which  a  sacrifice  and 
consecration  of  self  to  God  which  had  already  been  carried 
very  far  might  be  consummated  according  to  the  requirements 
of  the  sublimest  perfection.  The  truths  of  the  Exercises,  like 
certain  graces  of  the  Sacraments,  will  produce  some  of  their 
most  marvellous  eftects  upon  the  souls  which  receive  them 
most  worthily. 

We  have  already  remarked  that  Francis  Xavier  was  at  first 
somewhat  inclined  to  turn  away  from  Ignatius,  from  whom  he 
shrank  with  a  sort  of  fear,  which  readily  disguised  itself  under 
the  mask  of  contempt  for  the  gentleman  of  noble  lineage  who 
had  demeaned  himself  so  lowly  as  to  beg  for  alms  and  lead  the 
life  of  a  pauper.  We  can  hardly  help  seeing  a  prudent  care  in 
dealing  with  such  souls  as  that  of  Xavier  in  the  celebrated  re- 
monstrance with  the  rector  of  the  College  which  Ignatius  made 
in  the  early  beginning  of  his  own  philosophical  studies,  against 
a  public  chastisement  to  which  it  was  intended  to  expose  him 
on  account  of  the  influence  which  he  was  exercising  over  a 
large  number  of  young  men,  whom  he  seemed  to  be  withdraw- 
ing from  their  proper  pursuits  as  students  for  the  sake  of  giving 
their  time  to  exercises  of  piety.  His  conversation  on  divine 
things  was  irresistibly  attractive,  and  it  may  well  have  been 
that  in  many  cases  the  bounds  of  discretion  were  passed  by  his 
scholars.  The  voluntary  disputations  held  on  feastdays  in  the 
College  were  neglected,  and  the  time  was  spent  in  church  in- 
stead of  in  the  schools.  The  professor,  Pefia,  a  worthy  man 
in  his  way,  was  displeased;  he  remonstrated  in  vain,  and  at 
length  laid  the  matter  before  the  rector,  Andrew  Govea,  who 
determined  to  inflict  on  Ignatius  the  ignominious  form  of  pun- 
ishment known  as  a  public  *  hall.'  This  punishment  was  a  last- 
ing disgrace.  All  the  masters  and  students  were  called  together 
by  the  sound  of  the  bell  into  the  public  hall,  where  the  disputa- 
tions were  usually  held.  The  masters  had  rods  in  their  hands, 
and  with  these  they  touched  the  shoulders  of  the  culprit,  who 
was  considered  ever  afterwards  as  a  person  to  be  shunned  and 

I'he  University  of  Paris,  2 1 

The  reader  of  any  one  of  the  numerous  lives  of  St.  Ignatius 
will  remember  the  oft-repeated  story,  how  he  at  first  recoiled 
from  the  idea  of  submitting  to  so  great  an  indignity,  then  how 
he  overcame  the  risings  of  pride  by  the  love  of  the  Cross  and 
of  humility ;  and  how,  after  he  had  presented  himself  as  usual 
at  the  College,  after  the  gates  were  closed  behind  him,  and  the 
students  assembled  by  the  sound  of  the  bell  to  be  witnesses  of 
the  chastisement  which  was  to  degrade  him  for  ever  in  the  eyes 
of  the  University,  he  sought  an  interview  with  the  rector,  and, 
in  a  few  gentle  and  earnest  words,  set  before  him  the  dishonour 
that  would  be  done  to  God  if  any  one  were  punished  publicly 
whose  only  crime  was,  in  substance,  a  burning  desire  and  zeal 
to  make  others  love  and  serve  better  His  Divine  Majesty. 
Govea,  the  rector,  was  converted  on  the  spot,  and,  taking  the 
hand  of  Ignatius,  led  him  into  the  hall,  where  the  members  of 
the  College  were  assembled  in  expectation,  and  there  threw 
himself  at  the  feet  of  the  saint,  acknowledging  his  own  error, 
and  bearing  the  most  honourable  witness  to  his  goodness  and 
sanctity.  If  the  scene  which  had  been  prepared  by  the  ene- 
mies of  Ignatius  might  have  been  calculated  most  seriously  to 
injure  him  in  the  yet  wavering  mind  of  Francis  Xavier,  we  can 
hardly  imagine  anything  more  likely  to  force  on  him  a  true 
estimate,  not  only  of  Ignatius  himself,  but  of  the  cause  of  which 
he  was  the  representative  and  the  advocate,  than  the  very  dif- 
ferent scene  which  actually  took  place.  Here  was  something 
higher,  better,  nobler  than  the  applause  which  waited  upon  the 
ordinary  triumphs  of  the  University.  Francis  was  at  that  time 
teaching  philosophy  with  great  success,  and  his  biographers 
have  all  related  how  earnestly  Ignatius  set  himself  to  win  that 
noble  heart,  praising  him  to  himself  and  others,  and  doing  ajl 
in  his  power  to  increase  the  number  of  his  pupils.  It  appears, 
too,  from  the  first  letter  in  our  collection — the  earliest  which 
remains  to  us  from  the  pen  of  Francis  Xavier — that  Ignatius 
also  supplied  him  with  money  during  some  part  of  his  career 
at  Paris.  By  so  many  various  means  did  he  seek  to  secure  the 
confidence  and  the  respect  of  Francis,  and  when  these  were 
gained  he  used  them  to  open  to  himself  the  opportunity  of  con- 

2  2  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

versing  with  his  friend  and  disciple  on  spiritual  subjects,  and  of 
sounding  in  his  ears  the  maxim  of  Jesus  Christ — '  What  shall 
it  profit  a  man  if  he  gain  the  whole  world  and  suffer  the  loss  of 
his  own  soul?'  We  may  judge  of  the  state  of  mind  in  which 
Francis  then  found  himself  from  his  own  famous  letter  about 
the  doctors  of  the  University,  written  several  years  later,  when 
he  was  in  the  midst  of  his  career  as  the  Apostle  of  the  Indies. 
*  They  labour  night  and  day  to  acquire  knowledge,  and  they 
give  all  diligence  to  mastering  the  subjects  of  their  studies,  but 
if  they  would  spend  as  much  trouble  in  that  which  is  the  soHd 
fruit  of  learning  and  in  teaching  the  ignorant  those  things  which 
are  necessary  unto  salvation,  they  would  certainly  be  far  better 
prepared  to  meet  their  Lord  when  He  says  to  them,  "  Give  an 
account  of  your  stewardship,"  I  fear  very  much  that  those  who 
spend  so  many  years  in  our  Universities  in  studying  the  liberal 
arts,  do  so  rather  with  a  view  to  empty  honours  and  ecclesias- 
tical titles,  than  to  the  duties  and  the  burthens  which  are  con- 
nected with  those  distinctions.  It  has  come  to  this  pass,  I 
perceive,  that  those  who  are  the  most  diligent  in  their  studies 
of  higher  literature,  make  open  profession  that  their  object  in 
doing  this  is  to  gain  a  reputation  for  learning,  and  so  obtain 
some  ecclesiastical  dignity  through  which  to  serve  our  Lord  and 
His  Church.  Miserable  mistake  !  it  is  their  own  profit,  not 
the  profit  of  the  public,  that  they  are  seeking  by  their  studies. 
TAey  are  afraid  that  God  will  not  choose  what  their  oivn  desires 
point  tOy  and  so  they  are  unwilling  to  commit  the  whole  matter  [of 
their  vocation]  ejitirely  to  the  will  of  God.'^^  These  may  well  be 
the  words  of  one  who  had  had  intimate  experience  of  the 
struggle  which  is  inevitable  when  the  soul  that  wishes  to  serve 
God  has  conceived  desires  of  its  own  as  to  the  manner  in  which 
it  is  to  serve  Him ;  and  we  can  understand  how  the  conver- 
sation of  a  saintly  friend,  persistently  harping  on  the  great 
maxims  of  Christian  perfection,  must  have  caused  sorrow  and 
disturbance  in  a  generous  mind  until  the  moment  came  when 
the  battle  was  won. 

Spiritual  conversation,  indeed,  was,  both  now  and  at  other 
11  See  below,  Book  ii.  ch.  2. 

The  University  of  Pans, 

times,  the  great  weapon  of  Ignatius.  We  hear  of  his  preaching 
in  Spain  and  even  elsewhere,  but  his  sermons  probably  derived 
their  power  far  more  from  the  fervour  of  his  charity  and  the 
authority  of  his  example  than  from  any  gift  of  eloquence,  native 
or  acquired.  But  the  art  of  winning  souls  to  God  by  holy  con- 
versation may  almost  be  called  one  of  the  incommunicable  pri- 
vileges of  true  sanctity,  and  it  was  this  that  made  Ignatius  a 
power  in  the  University  of  Paris,  as  a  similar  gift  had  made  So- 
crates so  powerful  with  the  thinking  portion  of  his  countrymen 
at  Athens.  It  was  this  that  gathered  round  him  the  small  circle 
of  immediate  disciples  of  whom  we  are  now  speaking ;  it  was 
this  that  bound  them  to  him  by  so  intense  and  solid  a  devotion, 
and  that  gave  him  so  wonderful  an  influence  over  a  far  wider 
circle  among  the  companions  of  their  studies.  As  we  have 
seen,  Peter  Favre  was  made  his  disciple  by  this  means  alone, 
and,  in  the  same  way,  it  was  by  this  that  his  empire  over  the 
soul  of  Francis  Xavier  was  gradually  gained. 

The  remaining  obstacles  to  the  perfect  adhesion  of  Francis 
to  the  plans  of  Ignatius,  came,  as  has  often  been  related,  from 
without.  His  father  had  put  himself  to  considerable  expense 
for  the  sake  of  supporting  him  at  the  University  of  Paris,  and 
he  thought  of  sending  for  him  to  his  own  country,  where,  of 
course,  his  chance  of  ecclesiastical  preferment,  to  which  the 
father  naturally  looked  as  the  fruit  of  all  his  own  sacrifices, 
would  be  the  greatest.  Indeed,  we  hear  of  the  offer  of  a  canonry 
at  Pampeluna  made  to  Francis  just  before  he  finally  left  Paris. 
At  an  earlier  period,  when  his  theological  studies  were  as  yet 
far  from  complete,  and  when  his  ideas  of  what  became  his  birth 
had  made  him  spend  rather  more  money  than  was  convenient 
to  Don  Juan,  his  father  is  said  to  have  been  deterred  from  re- 
calling him  only  by  the  intercession  of  his  own  daughter  already 
mentioned — the  holy  nun  in  the  Convent  of  St.  Clare  at  Gandia 
— who  wrote  to  tell  him  that  God  had  chosen  her  brother  for  a 
great  work  in  the  Church.  We  shall  never  know,  in  this  world, 
how  much  this  saintly  and  heroic  soul,  who  died  about  the  time 
of  the  final  conversion  of  her  brother  in  1533,  had  to  do  with 
the  secret  formation  of  his  great  sanctity.    She  died  a  death  of 

2  4  ^A  Francis  Xavier. 

terrible  suffering,  which  she  prayed  might  be  hers  instead  of 
that  of  another  reHgious  of  the  same  Convent.  Another  effort 
to  hinder  his  onward  course  was  made  by  a  dependent  of 
Xavier's,  who  attempted  to  assassinate  Ignatius,  when  he  saw 
the  ascendancy  which  he  was  acquiring  over  his  patron.  We  are 
not  told  of  the  exact  moment  at  which  Francis  took  his  final 
and  irrevocable  resolution  to  give  up  the  world.  Such  designs 
often  mature  very  gradually  in  hearts  like  his. 

When  we  consider  the  work  actually  performed  by  the  re- 
ligious body  of  which  these  immediate  followers  of  Ignatius 
became  the  nucleus,  and  compare  it  with  the  designs  which 
they  had  conceived  at  the  time  of  their  first  solemn  consecra- 
tion of  themselves  to  God  in  the  church  of  Montmartre,  we 
are  inclined  to  be  surprised  at  the  discrepancy  between  the 
issue  and  the  intention.  The  Holy  Land  was  the  great  object 
of  their  ambition — not  merely  that  they  might  visit  it  as  pil- 
grims, as  Ignatius  had  done,  but  that  they  might  obtain  leave 
to  remain  and  to  preach  there.  Even  at  the  outset,  however, 
they  seem  to  have  understood  that  this  design  might  never 
be  fulfilled.  Still,  it  was  the  original  plan  of  the  whole  body. 
They  were  to  wait  a  year  at  Venice  for  the  opportunity  of 
passing  to  the  East,  and  only  when  that  space  of  time  had 
been  passed  in  fruitless  expectation  were  they  to  proceed  to 
Rome  to  place  themselves  absolutely  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Supreme  Pontiff.  And  yet  it  is  known  that  Ignatius  had  had 
the  whole  outline  and  plan  of  the  Society  which  he  was  to 
form  set  before  him  at  Manresa.  Can  it  be  that,  but  for  the 
war  between  the  Venetians  and  Solyman,  the  Society  of  Jesus 
would  have  pursued  so  very  different  a  career  from  that  which 
has  actually  been  its  portion  ?  Would  it  have  left  heresy  un- 
opposed in  Europe,  would  it  never  have  undertaken  the  reno- 
vation of  Christian  education  and  the  reformation  of  manners 
at  home,  would  its  name  never  have  been  heard  of  in  the 
schools  and  its  services  never  rendered  to  literature  in  every 
branch  from  theology  and  philosophy  down  to  physical  science 
and  grammar  ?  The  answer  is  surely  to  be  found\in  the  cha- 
racter of  the  men  whom  Ignatius  had  gathered  round  him,  and 

^he  University  of  Paris,  25 

in  the  importance  which  he  invariably  and  at  so  much  cost 
attached,  both  in  his  own  case  and  in  that  of  others,  to  intel- 
lectual cultivation  and  deep  theological  learning.  His  object 
was  in  the  first  instance  to  form  them  in  the  true  Apostolical 
spirit  after  the  model  of  our  Lord,  to  detach  them  perfectly 
from  all  earthly  things,  and  inflame  them  to  the  utmost  with 
the  fire  of  the  love  of  God.  It  was  his  object  in  the  second 
place  to  arm  them  in  the  most  complete  intellectual  and  theo- 
logical panoply  that  could  be  acquired  anywhere  in  Christen- 
dom, and  so  to  fit  them  to  carry  on  the  Apostolical  work 
in  any  region  whatever  of  the  world,  civilized  or  uncivilized, 
Christian  and  Pagan,  with  those  full  resources  even  of  human 
learning  of  the  use  of  which  we  see  so  marked  an  instance  in 
the  career  of  St.  Paul.  We  may  judge  of  the  universality  of  his 
aim  from  the  large  range  of  acquirements,  spiritual  and  in- 
tellectual, with  which  he  sought  to  store  his  followers— con- 
tent, with  such  an  end  in  view,  to  wait  for  so  many  precious 
years  before  he  launched  them  on  the  world. 

If  it  appears  to  us  that  Palestine  might  have  been  no  fitting 
field  for  the  labours  of  men  of  this  stamp,  it  may  be  that  we 
have  too  long  accustomed  ourselves  to  accept  the  present  state 
of  things  in  the  East  as  something  to  be  acquiesced  in  without 
an  effort,  something  which  the  sober  judgment  of  Christian 
men  is  to  consider  as  beyond  the  hope  of  change.  Palestine 
was  not  to  be  the  providential  scene  of  the  labours  of  the  com- 
panions of  Ignatius,  but  we  cannot  conclude  from  this  that  the 
very  greatest  results,  even  for  Europe,  might  not  have  issued 
from  their  enterprize  if  it  had  been  the  will  of  God  that  it 
should  be  carried  out.  The  East  is  nearer  to  us  than  India, 
China,  Japan,  or  the  New  World.  Whenever  the  day  of  re- 
generation shall  dawn  for  the  East,  for  Syria,  Asia  Minor, 
Egypt,  and  the  region  of  the  Euphrates  and  the  Caspian,  then 
a  blow  will  have  been  struck  at  the  power  which  hinders  the 
progress  of  God's  Kingdom  upon  earth  such  as  it  has  never 
yet  felt.  That  region  is  the  very  heart  of  the  world,  and  its 
conquest  to  the  Church  would  even  now,  humanly  speaking, 
ensure  the  accomplishment  of  that  great  work  which  has  been 

2  6  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

for  so  many  centuries  prevented  by  the  Greek  schism  and  the 
dominion  of  Islam — the  work  of  the  Christianization  of  Asia. 
But  great  as  this  blow  would  be  even  now,  it  may  be  said  that 
its  consequences  would  have  been  far  greater  then,  when  the 
Turks  were  still  a  power  which  kept  Europe  in  awe  by  sea  and 
by  land,  when  Lepanto  had  not  been  fought,  nor  Malta  be- 
sieged, nor  the  flood  of  barbarian  invasion  rolled  back  from 
the  walls  of  Vienna,  and  when  the  colossal  power  of  Russia 
had  not  yet  risen  up  to  aid  by  its  strength  the  schism  of  Con- 
stantinople. We  shall  follow  Francis  Xavier  in  his  labours  in 
the  still  farther  East — labours  the  fruits  of  which  it  cost  the 
Church  incredible  efforts  to  keep  up  and  develope  for  more 
than  two  centuries  by  supplies  from  Europe,  supplies  which 
always  depended  in  great  measure  upon  the  goodwill  of  poli- 
ticians, and  which  were  at  last  dried  up,  almost  entirely,  by 
the  triumph  of  the  Bourbon  Courts  in  the  suppression  of  the 
Society.  The  evangelizing  of  the  far  East,  bright  and  grand 
as  its  history  is,  might  have  had  annals  far  brighter  and  grander 
if  the  work  had  been  begun  in  Palestine,  and  had  advanced 
steadily  eastwards.  We  shall  find  Francis,  at  the  very  end  of 
his  short  career,  renewing  in  some  sense  the  design  with  which 
he  began,  in  his  intention  to  preach  westward  from  China  until 
lie  came  again  to  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean.  Such  are 
the  dreams  of  saints.  But  we  must  not  measure  them  by  our 
narrow  views  of  expediency  or  possibility,  and  we  may  feel 
assured  that,  if  Ignatius  and  his  companions  had  really  been 
sent  by  Providence  to  Palestine,  they  might  not  have  done  the 
less  in  their  own  persons  and  in  those  of  their  followers  in  the 
battle  against  heresy  or  worldliness  or  ignorance  in  the  Catholic 
countries  of  Europe.  At  all  events,  Ignatius  never  changed 
his  mind  about  the  importance  of  the  Holy  Land,  nor  laid 
aside  his  wish  that  the  Society  which  he  had  founded  might  be 
allowed  to  fix  one  of  its  chief  seats  at  Jerusalem,  the  one  place 
of  Christian  pilgrimage  which  can  never  lose  its  attraction, 
under  whatever  external  circumstances  of  disadvantage,  as  long 
as  this  world  lasts,  and  which  is  so  obviously  fitted  to  be  the 
centre  from  which  all  good  influences  may  flow  over  the  whole 

The  University  of  Paris.  iy 

of  the  long-desolate  Eastern  world.  In  the  very  last  year  of 
his  life,  we  find  Ignatius  refusing  to  give  up  his  hopes.  Don 
Pedro  de  Zarata  de  Bermeo,  a  knight  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre, 
obtained  in  1554  a  bull  from  Pope  Julius  III.  for  the  founda- 
tion of  three  Colleges  of  the  Society  in  the  East — in  Jerusalem, 
in  Constantinople,  and  in  Cyprus.  Ignatius  made  many  efforts 
to  bring  about  the  accomplishment  of  this  design ;  but  he  was 
always  thwarted  by  the  apathy  of  the  persons  to  whom  he  ad- 
dressed himself,  or  other  causes.  Even  before  the  bull  was 
actually  obtained,  he  had  sent  Simon  Rodriguez — mindful  of 
that  early  attraction  to  the  Holy  Land  which  had  fijst  brought 
them  together  —  as  far  as  Venice  on  his  way  to  Jerusalem, 
where  he  was  to  wait  for  a  suitable  opportunity  of  establishing 
the  College.  But  Rodriguez  fell  so  ill  at  Venice  that  he  was 
unable  to  go  farther.  Still,  when  in  1556  the  Franciscans  urged 
liim  to  renounce  the  right  which  the  bull  of  Pope  Julius  had 
given  him,  Ignatius  declined  to  do  so,  saying  that  he  did  not 
think  he  could  do  so  with  a  clean  conscience,  even  though  it 
might  seem  unlikely  that  the  design  could  be  carried  out  in 
his  own  lifetime.12 

We  must  pass  rapidly  over  the  time — a  space  of  two  years 
and  three  months — which  passed  between  the  first  happy  meet- 
ing of  the  companions  of  Ignatius  in  the  crypt  at  Montmartre, 
where  they  pronounced  their  vows  and  received  communion 

^2  The  history  of  this  plan  of  Zarata's  is  related  at  length  by  F.  Genelli  in  the 
fifth  chapter  of  his  second  part  of  his  Life  of  St.  Ignatius  (Eng.  Tr.  pp.  260- 
263),  The  Bollandists  give  the  letter,  which  is  quoted  by  F.  Genelli,  in  which 
Ignatius  refused  to  renounce  his  right.  '  As  we  do  not  know,'  he  says,  '  what 
God  our  Lord  may  be  pleased  to  do  through  the  poor  instrumentality  of  this 
little  Society,  it  does  not  seem  to  me  to  be  right,  or  conformable  to  the  Spirit  of 
God,  to  consent  to  the  closing  of  the  prospect  of  having  a  College  in  the  Holy 
Land.  A?td  even  were  I  to  renounce  it,  this  act  would  not  bind  the  Society  in 
any  future  time.  And  I  do  not  think  I  can  consent  with  a  free  conscience  to  a 
renunciation  of  this  kind,  even  though  it  should  appear  unlikely  that  we  should 
found  a  College  there  during  my  lifetime.  It  is  of  course  quite  possible  that  this 
design  may  never  be  carried  into  execution,  but  we  must  not  engage  ourselves 
by  a  promise  that  it  shall  not  be  done.*  We  may  add,  that  our  own  days  may 
very  possibly  see  a  great  change  in  the  state  of  affairs  in  the  East,  one  of  the  re- 
sults of  which  may  well  be  the  accomplishment  of  the  long-cherished  designs  of 
St.  Ignatius  for  the  benefit  of  its  peoples. 

28  St,  Francis  Xavier, 


from  the  hands  of  Peter  Favre,  to  the  15th  of  November 
1536,  when,  they  finally  left  Paris  on  their  road  to  Venice, 
there  to  attempt  the  accomplishment  of  their  design  of  passing 
to  the  Holy  Land.  We  are  not  told  at  what  exact  point  in 
his  academical  career  Francis  Xavier  left  off  the  teaching  of 
philosophy  and  devoted  himself  to  the  study  of  theology,  but 
we  know  that  the  completion  of  their  theological  studies  was 
the  chief  reason  for  the  delay  resolved  upon  by  Ignatius.  It 
would  take  us  too  long,  also,  to  follow  Francis  through  the 
Exercises,  which  he  made  some  time  after  the  day  of  the  first 
vows.  The  rules  of  the  little  Society  were  few  and  simple. 
They  were  unable  to  live  in  common,  but  they  met  on  Sundays 
and  feasts,  were  as  much  in  one  another's  company  as  pos- 
sible, and,  for  the  purpose  of  fostering  charity  and  of  that  im- 
mense spiritual  profit  which  comes  from  intercourse  with  con- 
genial souls  on  fire  with  the  love  of  God,  they  invited  one 
another  to  their  simple  meals,  and  thus  renewed  the  '  Love- 
feasts'  of  the  early  Christians.  Ignatius  himself  was  with  them 
only  till  the  end  of  March  in  the  year  following  the  meeting 
at  Montmartre.  He  went  to  Spain,  partly  for  his  health,  and 
partly  also  that  he  might  arrange  the  private  affairs  of  some  of 
the  little  body,  Francis  Xavier,  Laynez,  and  Salmeron,  who 
thought  it  more  prudent  not  to  revisit  their  homes  for  such  a 
purpose.  The  vow  of  poverty  which  they  had  made  at  Mont- 
martre consisted  in  the  renouncement  of  all  possessions  and 
dignities  in  this  world,  and  as  this  renouncement  could  not  be 
carried  out  while  they  remained  in  France  as  students,  they 
had  fixed  a  time  at  which  it  was  to  be  formally  effected.  This 
was  the  business  which  Ignatius  was  to  perform  for  them  at 
their  homes.  One  more  associate,  Claude  Le  Jay,  of  Geneva, 
had  been  added  to  the  little  Society  before  Ignatius  left.  Two 
more,  who  raised  the  number  of  the  original  Fathers  to  ten, 
John  Codurius  and  Paschase  Brouet,  were  gathered  in  after 
his  departure,  when  Peter  Favre  was  a  sort  of  father  and 
superior  to  the  rest  in  the  place  of  Ignatius.  They  practised 
weekly  confession  and  communion,  daily  meditation  and  ex- 
amination of  conscience,  and  spiritual  reading  in  the  Bible 

The  University  of  Paris.  29 

and  the  Imitation  of  Christ.  The  rest  of  their  time  was  given 
to  study  and  to  such  good  works  as  lay  within  the  sphere  of 
students  such  as  they  were. 

It  takes  but  a  few  Hnes  thus  to  describe  the  life  led  by 
Francis  Xavier  and  his  friends  during  their  last  years  at  the 
University.  But  the  happiest,  the  brightest,  the  most  peaceful 
stages  of  our  lives,  those  which  influence  the  remainder  of  our 
course  because  they  have  been  the  seedtimes  of  our  minds  and 
souls,  those  which  mould  and  develope  our  affections,  and  to 
which  our  memories  turn  back  with  the  fondest  thankfulness, 
are  often  those  which  can  thus  easily  be  summed  up.  Tran- 
quil times  have  little  history,  but  they  are  yet  the  times  of 
growth  and  of  matuyng  life.  '  So  is  the  kingdom  of  God,  as  if 
a  man  should  cast  seed  into  the  earth,  and  should  sleep  and 
rise,  night  and  day,  and  the  seed  should  spring,  and  grow  up 
whilst  he  knoweth  not.  For  the  earth  of  itself  bringeth  forth 
fruit,  first  the  blade,  then  the  ear,  afterwards  the  full  corn  in 
the  ear.  And  when  the  fruit  is  brought  forth,  immediately  he 
putteth  in  the  sickle,  because  the  harvest  is  come.'i"^  The  har- 
vest was  to  come  in  its  time  for  Xavier  and  the  rest.  Mean- 
while their  life  was  steady,  uniform,  obscure.  They  passed 
from  their  rooms  to  the  schools  or  to  the  church,  from  the 
schools  and  the  church  to  the  meadows  and  walks  on  the 
banks  of  the  Seine,  to  Montmartre  and  its  quarries,  or  on  some 
hidden  errand  of  mercy  or  charity.  Ignatius  had  so  formed 
each  one  that  his  presence  was  not  needed  to  guide  them  at 
every  moment,  or  to  retain  them  in  their  unity  of  purpose, 
or  to  prevent  them  from  falling  asunder.  They  enjoyed  the 
highest  of  Christian  delights  in  their  own  mutual  love  and  con- 
fidence, at  the  same  time  that  they  were  adding  daily  to  their 
stores  of  intellectual  and  spiritual  wisdom.  They  were  never 
again  to  be  so  much  together,  so  much  at  peace  and  at  rest. 
But  wherever  they  went  in  after  years,  in  the  Old  World  or  the 
New  AVorld,  to  Court  or  Council  or  Bishop  or  King,  among 
Catholics  or  heretics  or  the  heathen,  they  would  retain  their 
affection  for  one  another,  their  brotherhood  of  spiritual  form- 

«  St.  Mark  iv.  26-29. 

30  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

ation,  and  the  intellectual  development  and  the  theological 
learning  which  they  had  so  patiently  acquired  within  the  bosom 
of  the  great  University. 

The  journey  of  Ignatius  to  Spain,  which  we  have  already 
mentioned,  gave  occasion  to  the  first  letter  of  Francis  Xavier 
which  remains  to  us.  It  is  addressed  to  his  elder  brother, 
and  contains  a  kind  of  vindication  of  himself,  as  well  as  the 
strongest  possible  recommendation  of  Ignatius.  Its  style  has 
still  much  of  the  formality  and  stateliness  of  the  Spanish  noble- 
man about  it,  and  in  this  respect  contrasts  strongly  with  the 
later  letters  we  possess  from  the  same  hand. 

(i.)  To  the  Captain  of  Azpilqueta,  his  eldest  brother. 

My  good  Lord, 

I  have  lately  written  to  you  more  than  once  by 
different  hands.  I  had  several  powerful  reasons  for  doing  so, 
the  first  and  strongest  of  which  was  the  tie  of  natural  duty 
which  binds  me  to  you,  and  that  feeling  of  pious  respect  which, 
next  to  the  love  of  my  parents,  is  due  in  the  highest  degree 
from  me  a  younger  to  you  an  elder  brother,  the  firstborn  of 
our  family.  Beside  this  there  was  the  gratitude  I  feel  for  your 
great  and  manifold  kindnesses  to  me.  These  have  been  in- 
deed so  many  and  of  such  a  kind  that  I  fear  I  shall  never  be 
able  to  repay  them  as  they  deserve,  and  that  I  must  expect  to 
appear  ungrateful  in  the  eyes  of  those  who  judge  of  ray  will 
only  from  my  deeds. 

I  am  therefore  most  anxious  to  find  all  possible  ways  of 
showing  you  what  I  think  and  feel  with  all  the  strength  of  the 
most  sincere  and  earnest  attachment,  in  order,  if  possible,  to 
make  you  some  return  for  your  charity  towards  me,  which  is 
ever  showing  itself  by  the  most  conspicuous  proofs.  Often,  in- 
deed, to  my  great  sorrow  and  trouble,  I  fail  to  find  any  such 
ways,  and  I  feel  often  compelled,  in  the  anxious  disquiet  of  my 
love  for  you,  to  suspect  that  those  many  letters  which  I  spare 
no  pains  to  send  to  you,  as  witnesses  of  my  tender  and  re- 
spectful affection,  by  the  hand  of  every  one  who  leaves  this  for 

The  University  of  Paris,  3  r 

your  parts,  are  not  all  faithfully  conveyed  to  you,  more  particu- 
larly when  I  consider  the  immense  extent  of  country  and  the 
almost  insurmountable  difficulties  of  communication  between 
Paris  and  Obanos. 

It  is  most  probably  on  account  of  some  cause  of  the  same 
kind  that  I  receive  answers  from  yoii  less  frequently  than  I 
desire.  I  feel  sure  that  it  is  not  that  you  have  given  up  corre- 
spondence so  delightful  and  so  longed  for  by  me,  but  that 
either  the  faithfulness,  the  industry,  or  the  good  fortune  of  your 
messengers  has  failed  to  be  answerable  to  the  efforts  of  your 
unwearied  care  concerning  me.  For,  indeed,  the  accounts  of 
our  friends,  and  other  proofs  no  less  certain,  have  fully  con- 
vinced me  that  you  have  a  cordial  sympathy  for  the  sufferings 
to  which  my  labours  as  a  student  and  my  dwelling  in  a  foreign 
land  expose  me,  and  that  in  your  residence  at  Obanos,  with 
every  comfort  round  you,  you  feel  the  troubles  of  my  watchings, 
and  the  difficulties  with  which  I  have  to  contend,  as  much  as  I 
feel  them  myself  in  Paris,  where  I  am  often  without  the  neces- 
saries of  life,  for  no  other  reason,  I  feel  certain,  than  that  your 
unfailing  readiness  to  come  to  my  aid  has  not  been  sufficiently 
informed  as  to  the  numberless  wants  which  I  suffer, — wants, 
the  particulars  of  which  sound,  for  the  most  part,  minute  and 
insignificant  when  spoken  of,  but  which  are  yet  very  hard  to 
bear.  The  only  thing  that  keeps  me  up  in  the  midst  of  them 
all  is  the  hope  that  I  have  in  that  kindness  of  yours  which  I 
have  so  often  experienced,  and  this  hope  makes  me  confident 
that  as  soon  as  you  know  what  and  how  much  I  want,  you  will 
abundantly  supply  all  that  is  required,  and  that  the  straits  in 
which  I  now  find  myself  will  be  at  once  turned  into  abundance 
by  a  large  outpouring  of  your  liberality. 

A  few  days  ago  I  had  a  long  talk  with  the  Rev.  Father 
Vear,  who  has  lately  come  to  the  University.  He  spoke  long 
and  most  pleasantly  concerning  you  all,  and  then  took  occasion 
gradually  to  let  me  know  plainly  that  grave  complaints  of  me 
had  been  made  to  you  by  some  persons  who  bear  me  ill  will. 
At  my  request  he  told  me  openly  every  particular.  If  you  will 
do  me  the  favour  to  believe  my  solemn  declaration  that  these 

32  St»  Francis  Xavier, 

charges  have  absolutely  no  foundation,  and  that  they  are  mali- 
ciously laid  to  the  score  of  your  innocent  brother,  I  am  sure 
that  you  will  share  my  grief  at  them,  and  understand  the  sharp 
pain  which  calumnies  of  such  a  kind  must  have  given  one  who 
is  conscious  of  being  entirely  undeserving  of  these  reproaches. 
And  yet  I  tell  you  the  simplest  truth,  when  I  say  that  I  felt 
more  patient  as  to  the  undeserved  loss  of  my  own  reputation 
than  as  to  the  grief  which  these  reports  must  have  caused  you. 
When  Father  Vear  was  telling  me  about  this,  I  felt  each  word 
before  he  uttered  it;  for  I  could  easily  understand,  without 
being  told  it,  knowing  as  I  do  the  warmth  of  your  love  for  me, 
how  much  this  wicked  accusation  must  of  necessity  have 
wounded  you  to  the  heart. 

But  it  seems  that  these  same  detestable  sycophants  have 
not  been  afraid  to  associate  with  me  in  their  calumnies  the 
most  innocent  and  the  holiest  of  men.  Master  Don  Ignatius. 
As  for  this  charge,  you  will  see  a  first  proof  of  the  innocence  of 
his  life  and  the  purity  of  his  conduct  in  the  step  he  has,  of  his 
own  accord,  taken  of  going  to  visit  you  in  your  own  house  and 
to  deliver  into  your  own  hands,  in  private,  this  letter  which  I 
have  charged  him  to  convey  to  you.  Were  he  indeed  what  the 
false  colours  of  calumny  have  painted  him,  were  he  not,  on  the 
contrary,  full  of  the  greatest  confidence  in  his  own  conscious 
integrity,  he  would  certainly  not  venture,  unarmed  and  alone, 
to  place  himself  in  the  power  of  persons  whom  he  would  re- 
member to  have  grievously  injured,  and  whom  he  would  also 
know  to  be  perfectly  aware  that  he  had  so  injured  them. 

But  that  you,  my  lord  and  elder  brother,  so  worthy  of  my 
tenderest  reverence,  may  well  understand  clearly  what  a  signal 
grace  of  God  our  Lord  it  has  been  for  me  to  have  for  a  friend 
a  man  so  perfect  as  Master  Don  Ignatius,  I  hereby  solemnly 
declare,  as  if  this  was  a  duly  signed  document,  certified  with  all 
the  sacred  obligations  of  an  oath,  that  the  services  which  this 
friend  has  rendered  me  infinitely  outweigh  all  that  the  most 
devoted  gratitude  from  me  during  the  course  of  my  whole  life 
could  either  repay  or  answer  to,  even  in  part. 

For,  in  the  first  place,  in  the  serious  private  inconvenience 

The  University  of  Paris,  23 

which  the  distance  that  separates  me  from  you  has  often  occa- 
sioned, he  has  always  come  opportunely  to  my  aid,  both  by 
putting  at  my  disposal  the  funds  which  I  needed,  and  by  assist- 
ing me  in  a  thousand  other  ways,  either  by  his  own  means  or 
by  the  intervention  of  his  friends.  And,  in  the  second  place, 
what  is  of  infinitely  greater  importance,  he  has  preserved  the 
thoughtlessness  of  my  youth  from  the  deadly  danger  of  forming 
friendships  with  men  strongly  inclined  to  heresy,  numbers  of 
whom  are  to  be  met  with  in  the  present  day  in  this  University 
of  Paris ;  persons  of  my  own  age,  who  craftily  hid  under  the 
specious  veil  of  attractive  gifts  of  cultivation  and  talent  their 
corruption  as  to  faith  and  as  to  morals.  Ignatius  alone  has 
preserved  my  too  yielding  inexperience  from  engaging  myself 
in  these  pernicious  friendships,  by  showing  me  the  mischief  of 
wiles  of  which  I  was  quite  ignorant.  So  great  was  the  evil  from 
which  I  was  saved  by  this  kindness  of  his,  that  I  should  never 
have  thought  the  whole  world  too  dear  a  price  to  pay  for  such 
deliverance  if  it  had  been  in  my  power  to  pay  it.  And  were 
this  the  only  good  that  Master  Don  Ignatius  has  done  me,  it 
would  still  be  of  such  a  kind  that  I  do  not  know  how  or  when  I 
could  repay  it  worthily,  or  be  grateful  enough  for  it.  For  cer- 
tainly, but  for  his  intervention,  I  should  never  have  escaped 
falling  into  intimacy  with  those  young  men,  good  in  outward 
appearance,  but  inwardly  corrupted  with  vice  and  heresy,  as 
their  own  deeds  and  the  event  afterwards  made  clear.  I  beg 
and  entreat  of  you,  therefore,  by  the  ties  of  kindred  and  by  the 
share  that  your  brotherly  love  for  me  prompts  you  to  take  in 
my  feelings,  my  wishes,  and  my  obligations,  do  all  that  is  in 
your  power,  as  you  would  if  I  were  present  to  make  the  request, 
to  omit  nothing  as  regards  assistance  and  attention  to  make 
welcome  the  one  person  of  all  the  world  to  whom  I  profess  and 
acknowledge  myself  most  deeply  indebted  for  the  inestimable 
services  he  has  rendered  me. 

After  having  made  this  earnest  request  in  the  interest  of  Don 
Ignatius,  I  will  add  another  on  your  own  account.  I  pray  you 
to  take  advantage  of  the  opportunity  now  offered  to  you  to 
enjoy  the  conversation  and  familiarity  of  a  man  of  the  highest 

VOL.  I.  D 

34  ^^'  Francis  Xavier, 

wisdom,  whom  God  has  adorned  with  singular  gifts.  Trust  my 
experience,  you  will  gather  abundant  spiritual  fruits  and  the 
greatest  consolation  from  his  earnest  admonitions  and  prudent 
counsel  Open  to  him  with  confidence  all  the  troubles  that 
afflict  your  mind ;  set  before  him  any  doubts  you  may  have. 
Listen  to  his  advice  and  obey  his  counsel.  You  will  find  by 
your  own  experience  the  truth  of  my  promises  as  to  the  incred- 
ible advantages  you  will  gain  from  knowing  and  conversing 
with  a  man  so  filled  with  the  Spirit  of  God.  He  will  give  you, 
moreover,  the  fullest  information  you  can  desire,  and  all  that  it 
is  so  much  my  interest  that  you  should  have,  about  myself  and 
the  present  state  of  my  affairs  here.  And  I  beg  of  you  to  have 
the  same  confidence  in  his  statements  that  you  would  have  in 
mine  if  I  were  with  you.  He  is,  in  f^ct,  most  thoroughly 
acquainted  with  my  heart.  He  knows  most  accurately  and 
minutely  all  the  particulars  of  my  private  concerns,  and  he 
knows,  I  may  almost  say,  better  than  myself,  the  nature  and 
extent  of  my  needs  and  of  the  assistance  I  require  from  you. 

After  what  he  tells  you  shall  have  explained  my  necessity, 
if,  as  I  feel  sure  you  will,  you  intend  to  come  to  my  assistance, 
I  beg  of  you  to  make  him  the  medium  of  your  favours.  It  is 
true,  he  is  not  returning  here  so  as  to  be  able  to  bring  to  me  in 
Paris  what  he  has  received  from  you ;  but  he  has  at  his  com- 
mand a  very  safe  means  of  sending  anything  to  me.  There  is 
here  a  young  man  from  Almazan,^-^  a  friend  of  mine,  who  is  fol- 
lowing the  same  course  of  study :  he  receives  from  his  family 
the  sums  necessary  for  his  maintenance  by  regular  remittances 
which  never  fail.  This  young  man,  when  Don  Ignatius  left, 
gave  him  letters  for  his  father,  with  a  commission  to  act  for 
him  in  a  certain  business,  and  for  this  purpose  Don  Ignatius 
must,  on  leaving  you,  pass  through  Alraazan.  I  will  ask  you, 
therefore,  to  intrust  to  him  when  he  leaves  you  whatever  money 
you  wish  to  send  me.  He  will  faithfully  place  the  whole  in  the 
hands  of  the  worthy  gentleman  of  Almazan,  the  father  of  my 
fellow  student,  who  will  send  the  pension  you  intend  for  me  by 
the  same  means  and  in  the  same  money  (so  as  to  have  as  little 

1^  This  was,  of  course,  Laynez. 

The  University  of  Paris,  ^^S 

loss  as  possible  in  exchange),  as  the  yearly  allowance  which  he 
transmits  for  his  son's  expenses.  His  son,  at  my  desire,  has 
asked  him  to  do  this  in  the  letter  which  he  has  now  sent  him. 
I  once  more  earnestly  entreat  you  that,  now  that  you  have  so 
favourable  an  opportunity  of  sending  me  some  funds,  you  will 
not  let  me  any  longer  grow  old  in  such  wretched  destitution. 

As  to  our  family  concerns  here,  I  have  nothing  particular  to  " 
tell  you  worth  the  writing,  except  our  good  cousin's  disappear- 
ance from  this  University.  The  news  came  to  me  late,  and  I 
got  a  carriage  and  followed  the  boy  for  some  time,  hoping  to 
catch  him  and  bring  him  back  if  I  could.  My  labour  was  in 
vain,  for,  after  pursuing  him,  with  the  fastest  horses  I  could  get, 
for  as  much  as  twenty-four  leagues  from  Paris  to  Notre  Dame 
de  Clery,  I  was  obliged  to  give  it  up  in  despair  and  turn  back. 
Pray  do  not  forget  to  let  me  know  by  the  first  opportunity  whe- 
ther the  runaway  has  turned  up  in  Navarre.  I  have  great  fears 
about  the  recovery  of  a  character  so  headlong  in  its  bent  to 
evil.  You  will  hear,  much  better  than  I  can  tell  you,  from 
Master  Don  Ignatius  how  Church  matters  stand  here,  and  the 
direction  in  which  our  lately  threatened  heresies  have  begun  to 
break  out,  and  I  shall  therefore  say  nothing  about  this.  And 
so  I  end,  my  dear  lord,  by  kissing  a  thousand  times,  as  well  as 
I  can  at  such  a  distance,  your  dear  hands  and  those  of  my 
sister,  your  lady  wife,  and  I  pray  God  to  preserve  you  both 
and  crown  you  with  all  prosperity  and  happiness  of  life,  and 
to  give  you  good  fortune  for  many  years,  according  to  the 
desires  of  your  pious  and  generous  hearts.  God  grant  it ! 
Such  is  my  prayer. 

Your  most  devoted  servant  and  younger  brother, 

Francis  Xavier. 

Paris,  March  24th,  1535. 

It  is  not  very  easy  to  imagine  what  the  calumnies  can  have 
been  from  which  Francis  here  clears  himself,  unless  they  related 
to  his  manner  of  life.  They  possibly  involved  the  charge  of 
novelty  in  doctrine,  which  may  have  been  regarded  as  bringing 
disgrace  on  the  family.  Whatever  the  charges  were,  they  were 
shared  by  Ignatius.     The  strong  petition  for  help  in  money 

^6  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

may  have  been  prompted  by  the  necessities  of  his  position  at 
Paris,  where  he  was  yet  to  remain  for  a  year  and  a  half  after 
the  letter  was  written.  Many  things  in  the  letter  seem  to  im- 
ply that  Don  Juan  de  Jasso,  the  father  of  the  saint,  was  dead, 
but  as  to  this  we  have  no  certain  information.  The  eldest 
brother  may  have  settled  at  Obanos  on  his  marriage  as  the 
representative  of  the  Azpilqueta  family,  and  come  into  posses- 
sion of  the  corresponding  portion  of  his  mother's  property. 
He  may  thus  have  been  independent  of  his  father,  and  so  able 
to  help  Francis. 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome, 

Francis  Xavier  was  in  his  thirty-first  year  when  he  left  Paris 
(November  15th,  1536)  with  his  companions  for  the  purpose 
of  joining  Ignatius  at  Venice  at  the  beginning  of  the  ensuing 
year.  He  had  spent  twelve  years  in  the  University,  and  was 
on  the  point  of  taking  the  degree  of  Doctor  in  Divinity,  the 
usual  crown  of  studies  such  as  his.  He  was  never  again  to 
spend  any  great  length  of  time  in  a  single  place ;  and  we  shall 
see  from  his  letters  how  much  the  University  had  moulded  his 
character,  and  how  frequently  his  thoughts  recurred  to  the 
place  which,  longer  than  any  other,  had  been  his  earthly  home. 
Paris  had  done  for  him  what  it  could,  and  he  was  certainly 
not  an  ungrateful  son.  It  would  seem  that  he  and  his  com- 
panions, especially  Peter  Favre,  were  highly  valued  in  the 
University.  Great  opposition  was  made  to  their  departure. 
Simon  Rodriguez  tells  us  that  they  consulted  two  learned  and 
pious  doctors  as  to  their  plans,  which  were  approved,  while 
they  were  at  the  same  time  warned  that  their  execution  would 
be  full  of  difficulty.  Another  theologian  came  to  Favre,  and 
told  him  that  he  thought  he  was  forsaking  a  sphere  of  great 
and  certain  usefulness  for  one  of  much  hazard  and  uncertainty, 
and  that  he  could  not  do  so  without  incurring  the  guilt  of 
mortal  sin.  At  the  same  time  Francis  Xavier  received  from 
Spain  the  news  that  he  had  been  nominated  to  a  canonry  at 

Nothing  of  this  sort  could  shake  their  resolution.  But  how 
were  the  companions  to  get  to  Venice?  They  were  mostly 
Spaniards,  and  war  was  now  raging  between  Charles  V.  and 

Sl  Francis  Xavier, 

Francis  I.^  They  determined  to  take  a  long  and  circuitous 
route  for  the  sake  of  safety,  though  it  was  certain,  especially 
during  winter,  to  be  a  cause  of  much  inconvenience  and 
many  sufferings.  They  would  pass  from  Paris  eastwards  into 
Lorraine,  the  Duke  of  which  country  was  at  peace  with  both 
the  belligerents.  Then  they  would  make  their  way  to  Basle 
and  Constance,  and  so,  probably  through  the  Tyrol,  to  Venice. 
They  provided  as  well  as  they  could  against  the  dangerous 
questions  which  their  appearance  was  sure  to  occasion.  They 
wore  the  long  dress  and  hat  of  the  Parisian  students.  Each 
one  had  his  pilgrim's  staff,  his  leather  satchel  on  his  shoulders 
— in  which  he  had  a  Bible,  a  Breviary,  and  his  manuscripts 
containing  his  theological  notes  taken  while  at  Paris — and  his 
rosary  round  his  neck.  They  gave  their  money  to  the  poor 
on  leaving  Paris  ;  but  it  was  afterwards  agreed  that  they  should 
accept  as  alms  and  carry  with  them  a  sufficient  sum  of  money 
for  their  journey,  as  they  might  otherwise  be  involved  in  in- 
extricable difficulties  in  the  heretical  countries  through  which 
they  were  to  pass.  As  long  as  they  were  in  French  territory 
the  Frenchmen  among  them  were  to  answer,  in  the  name  of 
all,  the  questions  which  might  be  addressed  to  them,  and  if 
the  Spaniards  were  asked  about  themselves,  they  were  to  say 
that  they  were  students  of  Paris  on  a  pilgrimage.  There  was 
a  famous  shrine  of  St.  Nicolas  on  the  German  border  of  Lor- 
raine, beyond  Metz,  which  lay  on  their  road,  and  they  were 
to  be  pilgrims  to  this  shrine  until  they  reached  it.     After  this 

1  In  this  war  Charles  V.  had  invaded  the  south-eastern  provinces  of  France 
(in  July),  and  had  found  the  frontiers  unprepared  for  attack.  Francis  I.  had 
ordered  the  devastation  of  the  whole  country  between  the  sea  and  the  Durance, 
the  Alps  and  the  Rhone  ;  Aries,  Tarascon,  and  Marseilles  alone  were  to  be  de- 
fended :  even  the  towns,  and  Aix  itself,  the  capital  of  Provence,  were  destroyed, 
in  order  to  hinder  the  invasion.  The  Dauphin  died  on  August  lo,  with  suspicion 
of  poison,  which  was  attributed  to  the  Emperor  :  but  there  seems  to  have  been 
sufficient  natural  cause  for  his  sudden  death.  Charles  laid  siege  to  Marseilles, 
but  was  forced  to  retreat  with  loss,  on  account  of  want  of  food  and  disease  among 
the  troops,  in  September.  The  northern  frontiers  of  France  were  also  invaded 
from  the  Low  Countries.  There  would  have  been,  therefore,  the  greatest  exas- 
peration everywhere  against  Spaniards,  and  the  whole  of  the  south  of  France 
must  have  been  miserable  as  well  as  hostile  enough  to  make  our  travellers  choose 
the  route  by  Lorraine. 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  39 

they  would  pass  into  German  territory,  and  here  the  Spaniards 
were  to  come  forward  in  the  name  of  ail,  and  the  Frenchmen, 
if  they  were  separately  questioned,  were  to  give  the  same  ans- 
wers which  the  Spaniards  had  given  before,  only  that  it  was  to 
be  the  Holy  House  of  Loreto  to  which  their  pilgrimage  was 
directed.  Each  day  they  spent  a  considerable  time  in  united 
prayer,  morning  and  evening,  before  they  lefc  their  resting 
place  for  the  night,  and  on  their  arrival.  Those  that  were 
priests  said  mass  every  morning  whenever  they  could,  and  the 
others  received  holy  communion.  The  whole  day  was  so  ar- 
ranged that  prayer,  meditation,  and  spiritual  conversation,  oc- 
cupied them  during  the  journey. 

The  perils  and  adventures  with  which  they  met  on  their 
way  were  neither  few  nor  trifling,  and  Simon  Rodriguez,  as 
we  have  mentioned,  wrote  down  his  reminiscences  concerning 
them  many  years  later,  at  the  request  of  the  General,  Everard 
Mercurian.  At  the  very  outset  of  the  pilgrimage,  Francis 
Xavier  seemed  to  be  in  danger  of  his  life.  He  had  bound 
cords  round  his  arms  and  thighs  in  a  spirit  of  penance,  having 
to  reproach  himself— as  we  are  told — with  a  certain  amount 
of  vanity  and  selfsatisfaction  in  which  he  had  formerly  indulged 
on  the  score  of  his  agility,  activity,  and  nimbleness  in  run- 
ning and  leaping  in  the  games  played  by  the  scholars  at  Paris. 
These  cords  he  had  not  removed  on  starting,  and,  notwith- 
standing the  severe  pain  which  they  must  have  caused  him,  he 
persevered  until  his  strength  entirely  gave  way.  It  was  found 
that  the  cords  had  buried  themselves  deeply  in  his  flesh,  which 
had  swollen  round  them  so  that  they  were  hardly  visible, 
and  the  surgeons  who  were  called  in  despaired  of  being  able 
to  cut  them.  His  companions  betook  themselves  to  prayer, 
and  the  next  morning  the  cords  were  found  to  have  broken  of 
themselves,  and  the  swelling  had  passed  away. 

The  first  stage  of  the  travellers  was  Meaux.  Two  or  three 
days'  journey  beyond  the  town  they  were  pursued  and  over- 
taken by  friends  from  Paris,  urging  them,  in  vain,  to  return. 
The  hostels  along  the  route  were  full  of  heretics,  to  whom  the 
devotions  which  were  openly  practised  by  the  pilgrims  on  ar- 

40  St,  Francis  Xavier. 


riving  and  setting  forth  were  the  subject  of  frequent  remark, 
either  of  amusement  or  astonishment.  The  companions  always 
avowed  their  creed,  and  had  many  controversial  discussions 
with  any  more  learned  men  of  the  Lutheran  party  who  might 
be  called  in  to  the  aid  of  the  more  ordinary  disputants.  On  ar- 
riving at  the  frontier  of  France  towards  Lorraine,  they  all  went 
solemnly  to  confession  and  communion — as  it  were,  to  bid 
goodbye  to  France,  says  Simon  Rodriguez.  Lorraine  was  at 
first  more  dangerous  to  them.  It  was  full  of  French  soldiers 
returning  from  a  raid  into  the  Low  Countries,  and,  as  was  usual 
in  those  days,  treating  the  inhabitants  of  the  neutral  country 
not  much  better  than  if  they  had  been  enemies.  Metz  was  shut 
against  these  freebooters  as  against  a  hostile  army,  and  it  was 
with  the  greatest  possible  difficulty  that  our  travellers  obtained 
admission,  along  with  some  poor  country  folk  who  were  flying 
from  the  soldiers. 

They  spent  several  weary  weeks  in  their  journey  from  Lor- 
raine into  Italy.  Once  in  Germany,  they  had  a  new  difficulty 
to  encounter  in  their  ignorance  of  the  language  of  the  country. 
They  were  thus  unable  to  ask  the  way,  and  frequently  lost  it 
for  hours  together.  It  was  winter,  and  the  country  was  covered 
with  snow.  The  narrative  of  Rodriguez  shows  us  incidentally 
the  miserable  moral  and  religious  state  of  the  towns  through 
which  they  passed.  They  stopped  three  days  at  Basle — which 
was  openly  heretical,  and  in  which  Carlstadt^  then  resided. 
Here  they  had  many  disputes  for  the  faith.  Another  time  they 
wandered  by  chance  into  a  village,  which  was  keeping  high 
holiday  for  the  marriage  of  its  parish  priest.  A  short  time 
before  they  reached  Constance  they  were  challenged  to  con- 
troversy by  another  parish  priest,  who  was  already  married  and 
had  a  large  family  of  children.  He  invited  them  to  supper, 
but  they  declined  to  eat  at  the  same  table  with  him.  After 
some  further  dispute,  he  was  reduced  to  silence,  and  then 
threatened  to  have  them  imprisoned  and  punished.  Early  the 
next  morning  they  were  roused  by  a  *  fair  and  gracious  young 

3  His  real  name  was  Bodenstein,  but  he  is  more  commonly  known  from  the 
place  of  his  birth. 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  4 1 

man  of -about  thirty,'  who  guided  them  along  paths  quite 
covered  with  snow  for  some  miles,  and  then  left  them  after 
pointing  out  the  road  along  which  they  were  to  proceed.  Con- 
stance, like  Basle,  had  apostatized  from  Catholicism  :  mass 
was  only  allowed  in  a  church  outside  the  walls  of  the  town, 
and  all  who  assisted  at  it  had  to  pay  a  certain  fine.  A  little 
further  on,  at  a  place  whose  name  Simon  forgot,  they  came 
upon  a  hospital,  at  the  door  of  which  an  old  woman  met  them, 
who  began  to  genuflect,  kiss  their  rosaries,  and  cry  out  in  Ger- 
man that  she  was  an  old  Catholic,  delighted  to  see  men  who 
were  still  faithful  to  the  Church.  She  ran  in,  and  brought  out 
a  lapful  of  rosaries,  legs,  arms,  and  other  fragments  of  sacred 
statues,  and  the  like,  which  were  all  venerated  by  the  Fathers, 
much  to  the  old  dame's  delight,  who  began  to  scold  the  people 
of  the  hospital  who  had  told  her  that  all  the  world  had  become 
heretical  like  themselves. 

These  few  incidents  paint  for  us  the  hardships  and  difficul- 
ties of  the  journey  to  Venice,  at  which  city  the  band  of  com- 
panions arrived  about  the  Epiphany  1537.  Ignatius  was  there 
to  await  his  spiritual  children,  and  their  joy  at  meeting  him  may 
easily  be  imagined.  Ignatius  had  arrived  at  Venice  a  {q^^  days 
only  before  his  companions.  He  had  sailed  from  Valencia  to 
Genoa,  and  the  vessel  in  which  he  was  had  nearly  been  lost  in 
a  storm.  *  While  the  other  passengers  abandoned  themselves 
to  terror  and  alarm,  Ignatius  spent  the  time  in  calmly  examin- 
ing his  conscience,  which  only  reproached  him  with  not  having 
corresponded  to  the  graces  he  had  received  as  faithfully  as  he 
deemed  he  ought  to  have  done.'^  He  had  other  troubles  by  land. 
He  had  made  his  way  from  Genoa  to  Venice  by  Bologna  on 
foot,  and  had  suffered  very  greatly  from  the  weather,  the  bad 
roads,  and  absolute  destitution.  Several  months  were  to  pass 
before  they  could  sail  to  Jerusalem,  and  it  was  determined  to 
spend  a  part  of  this  time  among  the  poor  in  the  hospitals  at 
Venice,  and  the  rest  in  a  journey  to  Rome  to  obtain  the  bless- 
ing of  the  Pope.  We  thus  find  these  first  Fathers  of  the  Society 
practised  at  once  in  the  *  experiments'  which  were  afterwards 
*  Genelli,  Eng.  Trans,  p.  132. 

42  «S/.  Francis  Xavler, 

insisted  on  in  the  case  of  those  who  joined  themselves  to  the 
body,  when  its  rules  and  constitutions  had  been  put  into  shape. 
Francis  Xavier  was  one  of  those  appointed  to  the  Hospital  of 
the  Incurables.  He  was  to  be  the  servant  of  all  there,  to  wait 
upon  the  sick,  dress  their  wounds,  sores,  or  ulcers,  make  their 
beds,  prepare  their  food,  sweep  the  room,  and  the  like,  and  he 
was  also  to  take  care  of  their  souls,  instructing  them,  consoling 
them,  preparing  them  for  the  last  sacraments,  and  after  their 
death  carrying  them  forth  for  burial.  It  was  here  in  Venice 
that  he  won  the  grace,  never  to  find  any  wound  or  ulcer,  how- 
ever loathsome  in  itself,  a  cause  of  horror  or  disgust  to  him. 
The  grace,  however,  was  won  by  a  signal  victory  over  his  na- 
tural delicacy,  when,  finding  a  great  and  sickening  repugnance 
rising  in  him  on  having  to  dress  an  ulcerous  wound  of  the  most 
disgusting  kind,  he  forced  himself  to  lick  it  and  suck  it  to  the 
very  last  drop  of  the  nauseous  matter  of  which  it  had  been 

After  nine  or  ten  weeks  thus  spent  in  Venice,  the  little 
company  of  the  disciples  of  Ignatius  set  out  on  foot  for  Rome. 
There  were  prudential  reasons  why  Ij^natius  himself  should 
not  accompany  them.  Somehow  he  had  incurred  the  hostility 
of  the  newly  made  Cardinal  Carafa,  who  had  lately  helped  St. 

4  This  is  the  account  given  by  Turselline,  who  is  quoted  in  the  abstract  of 
the  Processes  made  for  tlie  canonization  of  St.  Francis.  Turselline,  like  all  the 
writers  of  his  time,  does  not  give  his  authority.  The  valuable  account  of  this  pe- 
riod drawn  up  many  years  after  by  Simon  Rodriguez  at  the  desire  of  Everard 
Mercurian  does  not  mention  the  incident,  at  least  does  not  mention  it  in  exactly 
the  same  form,  and  it  appears  from  internal  evidence  that  Simon  was  one  of  the 
companions  of  Francis  at  the  Hospital  of  the  Incurables.  He  seldom  mentions 
names,  but  he  speaks  of  'one  of  the  Fathers,'  A  man  covered  with  what  seemed 
to  be  leprosy  called  this  Father  to  him  and  asked  him  to  rub  his  back.  Then 
the  feeling  of  nausea  came  on,  as  well  as  the  fear  of  contagion,  and  Francis  first 
scraped  the  ulcerous  sores  with  his  fingers,  and  then  put  them  into  his  mouth, 
licked  and  sucked  them.  He  told  his  companion  of  it  the  next  day,  saying  that 
the  night  before  he  had  dreamt  that  the  leprous  matter  had  stuck  to  his  mouth, 
and  that  he  had  in  vain  tried  to  cough  it  away.  It  is  quite  possible  that  this  may 
be  another  anecdote,  but  it  seems  almost  certainly  to  refer  to  Francis  Xavier, 
who  was  very  intimate  with  Simon,  and  told  him  such  things  as  his  dreams  more 
than  once.  Simon  adds  another  similar  anecdote,  which  is  probably  of  himself. 
One  of  the  companions  begged  the  infirmarian  to  place  in  his  bed  a  beggar 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome.  43 

Cajetan  in  founding  the  Theatine  Order,  and  was  afterwards 
Pope  Paul  IV.  Carafa  may  perhaps  have  disliked  the  notion 
of  the  Order  which  Ignatius  seemed  to  be  trying  to  found,  as 
being  so  very  like  his  own.  At  a  later  time  he  wished  the 
Theatines  to  be  fused  with  the  Society,  but  Ignatius  declined. 
Ignatius  was  also  afraid  of  finding  an  enemy  in  Pedro  Ortiz,  the 
representative  of  the  Emperor  at  the  Papal  Court,  who  was  one 
of  those  who  had  denounced  him  to  the  Inquisition  in  Paris. 
His  expectations,  however,  were  very  happily  disappointed  in 
the  case  of  Ortiz.  The  journey  of  the  nine  companions  occu- 
pied several  weeks,  and  gave  them  an  occasion  of  continued 
and  immense  suffering.  It  was  determined  that  they  should 
practise  the  strictest  poverty — another  of  the  experiments  of 
the  Society — and  this  precluded  them  from  taking  with  them 
any  provisions  or  money  whatever.  It  was  Lent,  and  they 
would  not  seek  any  dispensation  from  the  strict  law  of  fasting. 
They  were  a  large  body  to  support  themselves  all  at  once  by 
begging,  as  well  as  to  find  lodgings  from  charity.  The  roads 
were  extremely  bad,  the  rains  incessant,  the  country  in  many 
parts  flooded.  From  Venice  they  begged  their  way  to  Ravenna 
by  land,  thence  they  embarked  for  Ancona,  and  then  passed  on 
through  Loreto  and  Tolentino,  across  the  Apennines  to  Foligno 
and  Spoleto,  and  thence,  as  it  appears,  by  Tcrni  and  Narni  to 

covered  with  leprosy,  whose  application  for  admission  had  been  refused  on  the 
ground  that  there  was  no  room  for  him  in  the  Hospital.  On  rising  the  next 
morning  he  found  himself  covered  with  leprosy  ;  but  the  next  day  he  was  entirely 
and  suddenly  cured.  This  narrative  of  Simon's,  which  here  adds  other  particu- 
lars like  those  which  we  have  now  quoted,  has  been  used  by  Mariani,  the  best 
ItaUan  writer  of  a  Life  of  St.  Ignatius.  This  Life  has  been  translated  in  the 
Oratorian  Series.  Mariani  inserts  the  anecdote  from  Turselline,  given  above  in 
the  text,  as  well  as  that  contained  in  this  note ;  but  he  gives  no  references. 
Simon's  narrative  was  printed  at  Rome  in  1869.  [De  Origine  et  Progressu  So- 
ctetatis  Jesit  usque  ad  ejus  confirmationem,  Commentarium  P.  Simonis  Rod- 
riguez, qui  fuit  e  novem  sociis  S.  Ignatii  Patris:  Romae,  1869.)  The  passage 
we  have  been  quoting  is  at  pp.  34,  35.  Simon  tells  us  a  little  further  on  that 
when  the  Fathers  first  entered  Italy,  the  practice  of  confession  and  communion 
had  become  so  rare,  that  any  one  who  approached  these  sacraments  once  a 
week  was  talked  of  everywhere,  and  his  doing  so  was  mentioned  in  letters  as  an 
extraordinary  piece  of  news. 

44  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

Rome.  The  first  part  of  the  journey  was  the  most  trying.  The 
people  were  afraid  of  them,  supposing  that  they  must  be  men 
who  had  formed  part  of  the  army  which,  under  the  Constable 
Bourbon,  had  some  years  before  taken  and  sacked  Rome,  and 
were  now  on  their  way,  in  a  pilgrimage  of  penance,  to  obtain 
pardon  at  the  shrine  of  the  Apostles. 

Whenever  they  obtained  admission  to  the  hospitals,  which 
seem  at  this  time  to  have  generally  served  as  the  *  night-refuges' 
of  mendicant  travellers,  they  edified  every  one  by  their  pati- 
ence and  humility,  and  the  piety  and  zeal  with  which  they  in- 
structed and  exhorted  the  poor  sufferers  who  were  the  permanent 
inmates  of  these  charitable  resting  places.  But  they  had  often 
no  shelter  at  all  for  the  night,  and  were  sometimes  whole  days 
without  food  except  the  cones  of  pine  trees.  The  simple  tale 
of  Simon  Rodriguez  draws  a  touching  picture  of  their  suffer- 
ings, and  of  the  self-reproach  which  some  of  them  felt  at  having 
wasted  their  strength  by  an  excess  of  mortification  as  to  food 
while  they  were  sojourning  at  Venice.  Often  only  the  worst 
and  foulest  beds  in  the  hospitals  were  offered  them ;  the  fer- 
rymen at  the  rivers  refused  to  take  them  across  without  pay- 
ment; they  had  sometimes  to  give  their  shirts  or  their  inkstands 
in  lieu  of  coin.  At  Ancona  they  were  not  allowed  to  land  be- 
cause they  could  not  pay  the  fare,  and  one  had  to  get  leave  to 
go  into  the  town  and  pawn  his  breviary  to  deliver  the  rest. 
Simon  gives  us  a  scene  in  the  marketplace  of  Ancona,  describ- 
ing one  of  his  companions,  who  seems  to  have  been  Francis 
Xavier.  He  was  barefooted,  his  robe  tucked  up  to  his  knees, 
going  about  among  the  market  women,  humbly  begging  from  one 
an  apple,  from  another  a  radish,  or  some  other  vegetable ;  and 
this  was  the  young  noble,  the  glory  of  the  University  of  Paris, 
for  his  learning  and  mental  gifts  !  The  market  people  at  An- 
cona were  liberal,  and  that  day,  Simon  says,  they  had  enough 
for  a  joyous  and  frugal  repast  to  satisfy  their  hunger,  as  well  as 
for  the  redemption  of  the  breviary.  Loreto  consoled  them,  as 
it  has  consoled  thousands  of  saints  before  and  after  them. 
They  spent  two  or  three  days  in  prayer  at  that  sweet  and  beau- 
tiful sanctuary. 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  45 

At  Rome  each  one  went  to  the  Hospital  of  his  own  nation. 
They  were  at  first  thought  to  have  come  to  seek  some  benefices 
at  the  hands  of  the  Curia,  or,  as  before,  to  have  come  for  pardon 
for  great  crimes,  or  to  get  rid  of  the  vows  of  some  rehgious 
order  to  which  they  belonged.  But  they  were  soon  found  out, 
and  were  all  taken  into  the  great  Hospital  of  San  Giacomo, 
that  of  the  Spanish  nation.  Pedro  Ortiz  himself  presented 
them  to  the  Pope,  Paul  the  Third.  When  the  Pope  heard  that 
they  were  theologians  from  Paris,  he  desired  them  to  dispute 
before  him  with  some  of  the  Roman  Doctors  during  his  dinner, 
and  was  delighted  at  the  combination  of  so  much  learning  with 
so  much  humility.  He  gave  them  the  leave  which  they  desired 
to  go  to  Jerusalem,  adding,  however,  that  he  feared  they  would 
not  have  the  opportunity,  of  accomplishing  their  purpose.  He 
already  knew  that  war  was  brewing  between  Venice  and  the 
Turks.  He  gave  them,  also,  leave  to  receive  sacred  orders  on 
three  consecutive  feast  days  without  the  usual  '  interstices,'  at 
the  hand  of  any  Bishop  they  might  choose.  Their  learning 
was  to  be  instead  of  the  required  'patrimony.'  Paul  IH. 
gave  them,  moreover,  a  considerable  alms  to  enable  them  to 
pay  their  passage  to  the  Holy  Land — conscious  as  he  was  that 
the  voyage  would  never  take  place — and  this  sum  was  increased 
by  the  contributions  of  some  pious  Spaniards  in  Rome  to  the 
amount  of  210  ducats.  It  was  sent  by  letter  of  exchange  to 
merchants  at  Venice,  and  was  afterwards  duly  returned  by  Ig- 
natius and  his  companions  when  their  design  of  going  to  the 
Holy  Land  was  finally  abandoned. 

The  party  of  pilgrims  returned  to  Venice  after  a  short  so- 
journ at  Rome,  and  resumed  their  labours  of  charity  at  the 
hospitals.  Their  next  step  was  to  avail  themselves  of  the 
Pope's  permission  to  receive  sacred  orders.  Before  doing  this, 
they  renewed  their  vows  of  poverty  and  chastity  in  the  hands 
of  Monsignor  Girolamo  Veralli,  Archbishop  of  Rossano,  who 
was  residing  in  Venice  as  Nuncio  from  the  Pope.  Their  ordi- 
nation followed  in  a  few  days.  The  sacred  rite  was  adminis- 
tered by  Monsignor  Vincenzo  Nigusanti,  Bishop  of  Arba,  on 
the  Feast  of  St.  John  the  Baptist,  June  24,  1537,     Meanwhile 


46  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

the  approaching  war  between  the  Turks  and  Venice,  which  the 
Pope  had  been  able  to  forecast,  seemed  to  become  a  certainty, 
and  there  could  be  no  opportunity  of  sailing  to  the  Holy  Land 
for  that  year.  It  was  determined  that  another  year  should  be 
passed  before  any  further  step  was  taken,  that  they  might  not 
lose  any  possible  opportunity  of  fulfilling  their  vow. 

The  companions  now  resolved  to  disperse  themselves  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Venice,  and  prepare  themselves  solemnly 
and  as  perfectly  as  possible  for  the  great  act  of  the  first  cele- 
bration of  holy  mass.  Vicenza,  Treviso,  Bassano,  and  Mon- 
selice — not  far  from  Padua — were  pointed  out  to  them  as 
places  which  they  might  find  suited  for  their  purpose  of  spend- 
ing some  time  in  quiet  contemplation  and  the  exercises  of 
penance.  Two,  Bobadilla  and  Brouet,  went  to  Verona;  two 
others,  Laynez  and  Favre,  accompanied  Ignatius  to  Vicenza; 
Le  Jay  and  Simon  Rodriguez  went  to  Bassano;  Codurius  and 
Hozes  (a  new  addition  to  their  number,  who  was,  as  it  turned 
out,  the  first  of  all  to  die)  went  to  Treviso;  and  Salmeron  and 
Xavier  to  Monselice.  These  were  all  places  within  the  Vene- 
,  tian  dominion.  The  Nuncio  had  given  them,  soon  after  their 
ordination,  faculties  in  writing  to  say  mass,  administer  the 
sacraments,  preach,  explain  Scripture,  and  absolve  from  re- 
served cases,  within  the  states  of  the  Republic. 

In  the  arrangements  now  made  among  themselves,  we  again 
find  the  object  of  practising  the  religious  rule  steadily  kept  in 
view.  It  is  probable  that  the  number  of  the  companions  would 
have  been  too  large  for  them  to  establish  themselves  anywhere, 
as  yet,  as  one  religious  community,  and  such  a  step  would  at 
once  have  caused  enquiry  as  to  their  Institute,  which  had  not 
yet  received  any  approbation,  either  written  or  verbal,  from 
authority.  This  may  have  been  another  reason  for  their  dis- 
persion. But  the  little  parties  of  two  or  three  began  now  to 
practise  obedience  regularly,  though  the  vow  on  this  subject 
had  been  omitted  when  they  originally  made  their  vows,  and 
when  they  renewed  them  before  Monsignor  Veralli.  Each  one 
was  Superior  for  a  week,  and  then  in  his  turn  obeyed  his  com- 
panion.    When  afterwards  they  went  to  reside  in  Rome,  this 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  47 

system  was  continued,  the  period  of  authority  being  extended 
to  a  month.  It  was  thus  that  obedience  and  discipline  were 
practised  among  them  until  the  formal  election  of  a  General  in 
the  person  of  Ignatius.  Up  to  that  time,  he  had  taken  his 
turn  with  the  rest,  although  he  was  always  respected  and  hon- 
oured by  them  all  in  a  singular  manner. 

The  austerities  of  the  Fathers  at  this  time  were  almost  ex- 
cessive, and  their  sufferings  from  weakness,  poverty  and  bad 
lodging  were  very  great.  Ignatius  and  Simon  Rodriguez  fell 
ill,  but  recovered.  After  a  time,  Ignatius  collected  them  all  in 
the  old  ruined  monastery  at  Vicenza  where  he  had  taken  up 
his  quarters,  and  thus  it  happened  that  several  of  them,  and 
among  them  Francis  Xavier,  said  their  first  mass  at  that  place. 
It  was  then  determined,  probably  because  the  hopes  of  Pales- 
tine had  grown  visibly  fainter,^  that  after  finishing  their  ap- 
pointed time  of  retirement  they  should  disperse,  until  the  year 
of  waiting  was  out,  into  some  of  the  chief  cities  of  Italy,  in 
order  to  labour  for  the  good  of  souls.  Ignatius  and  his  two 
companions  of  Vicenza  were  to  go  to  Rome  itself,  Salmeron 
and  Brouet  to  Siena,  Xavier  and  Bobadilla  to  Bologna,  Le  Jay 
and  Rodriguez  to  Ferrara,  and  Codurius  and  Hozes  to  Padua. 
It  was  agreed  that  they  were  to  continue  the  same  rule  of  Ufa 
and  the  same  exercises  of  charity  and  zeal  as  before.  Ignatius 
told  them  that  when  they  were  asked  who  they  were,  they  were 
to  say  that  they  belonged  to  the  Compafiia,  or  band,  of  Jesus. 

While  these  arrangements  were  being  made  at  Vicenza, 
Xavier,  with  one  of  his  companions — perhaps  Rodriguez — had 
fallen 'ill,  and  had  been  moved  to  the  Hospital  of  Incurables 
in  the  town,  that  they  might  be  somewhat  better  tended 
than  was  possible  in  the  old  ruin  already  mentioned.  They 
had,  however,  only  one  bed  between  them ;  and  as  the  one 
required  as  much  warmth  as  possible,  and  the  other  was  at  the 

^  F.  Genelli  remarks  (p.  139,  Engf.  Trans.)  that  on  account  of  the  war  'it 
was  impossible  to  cross  the  sea  to  Syria  during  the  whole  of  that  time  during 
which  Ignatius  and  his  companions  had  made  a  vow  to  wait ;  and  it  was  exactly- 
after  this  time  had  elapsed,  and  after  they  had  given  up  the  intention  of  their 
pilgrimage,  that  the  war  ceased  and  the  sea  was  again  open  for  the  passage.' 

48  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

height  of  a  raging  fever,  it  was  not  easy  for  both  to  enjoy  at 
once  the  httle  comfort  that  might  otherwise  have  been  at  their 
command.  It  was  here  that  Francis  Xavier  had  a  vision  in 
which  St.  Jerome,  to  whom  he  had  a  great  devotion,  appeared 
to  him  and  consoled  him,  promising  him  at  the  same  time  a  far 
severer  cross  at  Bologna,  to  which  city  he  was  to  be  sent,  and 
naming  at  the  same  times  the  several  cities  in  which  his  com- 
panions were  to  labour. 

In  the  choice  made  by  Ignatius  and  his  associates  of  the 
cities  in  which  they  were  to  place  themselves,  it  is  not  diftkult 
to  see  the  same  love  for  large  centres  of  population,  especially 
when  such  cities  were  also  seats  of  intellectual  activity,  which 
we  have  already  remarked  upon.  Bologna,  the  first  scene  of 
Francis  Xavier's  priestly  labours,  seems  to  have  received  him 
with  special  affection,  and  to  have  gained  a  place  of  peculiar 
regard  in  his  heart.  He  was  forced  by  the  importunities  of 
Jerome  Casalini,  a  Canon  of  St.  Petronio  and  Rector  of  the 
church  of  Santa  Lucia,  to  accept  a  lodging  in  his  house  instead 
of  in  the  common  hospital ;  but  Francis  would  never  consent 
to  live  upon  anything  but  the  alms  he  collected  himself.  The 
Canon's  sister,  Isabella,  had  been  attracted  by  the  extraordi- 
nary fervour  and  devotion  with  which  Francis  celebrated  mass 
at  the  tomb  of  St.  Dominic.  His  time  was  spent  in  preach- 
ing in  the  public  piazzas,  in  hearing  confessions,  visiting  the 
prisons  and  hospitals,  and  catechizing  children.  He  spared 
himself  so  little  that  he  soon  fell  ill  of  a  dangerous  quartan 
ague,  which  was  the  cross  predicted  to  him  by  St.  Jerome.  He 
had  nearly  recovered,  when  he  was  summoned  by  Ignatius  to 
Rome,  towards  the  end  of  winter. 

Ignatius,  with  his  two  companions,  Laynez  and  Favre, 
had  arrived  in  Rome,  it  seems,  in  the  course  of  November 
1537.  The  Pope  received  him  graciously,  and  appointed 
Favre  to  lecture  in  positive  theology,  Laynez  in  scholastic 
theology,  in  the  University  of  the  Sapienza,  Ignatius  occupied 
himself  chiefly  in  giving  the  Spiritual  Exercises,  and  many  men 
of  distinction  placed  themselves  in  his  hands  for  this  purpose. 
Among  these  was  Ortiz  himself,  who  took  Ignatius  with  him 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  49 

to  Monte  Cassino,^  where  he  went  through  the  Exercises  with 
the  utmost  fervour,  offering  himself,  at  the  end  of  his  retreat, 
as  a  member  of  the  new  Society.  Ignatius,  however,  dissuaded 
him  on  the  ground  of  his  age  and  the  importance  of  the  busi- 
ness with  which  he  was  charged  by  the  Emperor,  whose  repre- 
sentative he  was  in  the  matter  of  the  divorce  sued  for  by  Henry 
VIII.  from  Catharine  of  Aragon.  At  Monte  Cassino,  while 
hearing  Mass,  Ignatius  was  made  suddenly  aware  of  the  happy 
death  of  Hozes,  his  lately  acquired  associate,  who  fell  a  victim 
to  his  own  zeal  at  Padua. 

The  ordinary  abode  of  the  little  party  was  in  a  vineyard 
near  the  Trinit^  di  Monti,  but  when  about  Easter  the  re- 
mainder of  the  companions  were  summoned  to  join  the  three 
already  at  Rome,  they  removed  into  the  heart  of  the  city,  to 
the  Torre  del  Melangolo  in  the  Piazza  Margana,  near  the  pre- 
sent convent  ofSta.  Catarina  dei  Funari.  As  soon  as  they  were 
all  assembled,  Ignatius  submitted  to  them  his  thoughts  con- 
cerning the  erection  of  the  Society  into  a  religious  order.  It 
cannot  be  doubted  that  this  had  been  all  along  his  intention, 
and  indeed  it  was  well  known  in  after  years  that  the  whole 
plan  of  the  Society  had  been  set  before  him  at  Manresa.  But 
it  was  the  method  of  Ignatius  to  proceed  in  all  things  with  the 
fullest  deliberation,  and  to  let  every  onward  step  in  the  accom- 
plishment of  his  plan  be  the  issue  of  prayer  and  the  workings 
of  the  Holy  Ghost  on  the  hearts  of  those  who  were  concerned. 
Alcazar  has  preserved  to  us  the  address  in  which  he  expressed 
his  thoughts.''  The  purport  was  that  they  had  not  indeed 
been  able  to  pass  to  Palestine  according  to  their  vow,  but  that 
in  Italy,  the  centre  of  Christendom,  they  had  seen  with  their 
eyes  and  tested  by  their  own  experience  how  vast  a  field  God 
had  laid  open  to  their  apostolic  labours,  and  how  plentiful  a 

^  We  are  told  by  Alcazar  [Chrono-H istoria  de  la  Compauia  de  Jesus  en  la, 
Provincia  de  Toledo,  i  Part.  Lib.  Prelim,  c.  vii.)  that  one  of  St.  Ignatius'  fa- 
vourite means  of  doing  good  was  to  give  away  spiritual  books,  and  that  ho 
gave  each  monk  at  Monte  Cassino  a  copy  of  the  book  de  Conicmpiu  Munai, 
i.e.  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  which  Spanish  writers  of  that  time,  such  as  Louis 
of  Grenada,  call  by  that  name. 

'  See  Alcazar,  at  tlie  place  quoted  above,  §  4. 
VOL.  I.  E 

50  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

harvest  He  had  en?.bled  tliem  to  reap  in  their  efforts  for  the 
conversion  and  reformation  of  souls.  This,  then,  was  the  en- 
terprize  to  which  God  now  invited  them,  and  with  His  aid 
they  might  hope  to  carry  on  the  work  begun  by  the  Apostles, 
to  '  root  up  and  plant,'  combat  heresy  and  vice,  and  extend 
the  faith  of  Jesus  Christ  over  the  whole  earth.  The  means  of 
doing  this  most  surely  was  to  bind  themselves  by  a  permanent 
bond,  under  one  head,  adding  the  vow.  of  obedience  to  the 
vows  of  poverty  and  chastity,  which  they  had  already  taken. 
They  would  thus  perpetuate,  beyond  the  span  of  their  own 
lives,  the  bond  of  charity  which  united  them,  erecting  their 
Company  into  a  religious  Order  which  might  multiply  itself  in 
all  countries  and  last  until  the  end  of  time.  This  new  bond 
of  union  would  alter  nothing,  it  would  only  strengthen  them- 
selves and  ennoble  the  designs  which  they  had  conceived.  God 
seemed  to  show  that  this  was  His  design  by  the  great  iruits 
which  they  had  already  reaped,  and  by  the  men  of  ability  who 
were  daily  brought  to  them  as  fresh  companions.  There 
would  be  no  guarantee  for  such  in  the  iature  unless  the  body 
were  made  permanent.  However,  Ignatius  added,  he  did  not 
insist  on  an  immediate  answer  to  his  proposals,  he  would  have 
them  all  take  time,  reflect,  and  pray  that  God  would  make 
known  to  them  His  most  holy  Will,  that  their  final  determina- 
tion might  result  in  His  own  greater  glory,  which  was  and 
always  had  been  the  rule  and  end  oi  their  desires. 

In  the  May  oi  this  year  1538,  Paul  III.  went  to  Nice  to 
meet  Charles  V.  and  Francis  L,  in  hope  of  bringing  about  a 
peace  between  these  two  inveterate  rivals.  Cardinal  Carafa 
was  left  as  Legate  at  Rome,  and  he  gave  Ignatius  and  his  com- 
panions the  leave  to  preach  and  hear  confessions  which  they 
so  much  desired.  The  two  professors  at  the  Sapienza  con- 
tinued their  courses,  but  took  their  turns  in  preaching  as  well, 
Favre  assisting  Francis  Xavier  in  the  church  of  San  Lorenzo  in 
Damaso,  and  Salmeron  preaching  in  that  of  Santa  Lucia  del 
Gonlalone.  Ignatius  himself  preached  in  Spanish  at  the  Span- 
ish church,  Santa  Maria  in  Monserrato  (the  rest  preached  in 
Italian),  Laynez  in  the  church  of  San  Salvatore  in  Lauro,  Le 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome.  5 1 

Jay  at  San  Luigi  dei  Frances!,  Rodriguez  at  Sant'  Angelo  in 
Pescheria,  and  Bobadilla  at  SS.  Celso  e  Guiliano  ai  Banchi. 

They  had  little  reason  to"  expect  great  success.  Ignatius 
speaks,  even  after  this  time,  of  the  soil  of  Rome  as  'sterile  of 
good  fruits  and  fertile  of  bad  fruits.'  They  had  already  many 
enemies  who  were  industriously  spreading  evil  reports  against 
them,  and  who  delayed  for  a  time  the  issue  of  their  faculties 
by  the  Legate  there.  It  was  also  unusual  for  preachers  to  ap- 
pear in  the  pulpits  except  during  the  sacred  seasons  of  Advent 
and  Lent,  and  the  population  was  accustomed,  after  the  effort 
required  for  the  performance  of  their  Easter  duties,  to  relapse 
into  enjoyment,  if  not  into  sin.  Moreover,  they  thought,  as 
Ignatius  says,  that  they  had  but  little  elegance  or  attractive- 
ness to  draw  audiences  to  them.  Nevertheless,  the  fruit  was 
great,  the  Sacraments  began  to  be  frequented  more  regularly, 
and  a  striking  reformation  of  manners  was  the  result. 

It  could  hardly  be  otherwise,  considering  the  evident  sanc- 
tity and  fervour  of  the  preachers,  their  holy  and  austere  lives, 
and  the  high  character  which  their  learning  gave  to  them.  But 
the  new  association  was  to  be  tried  by  persecution.  Our  Lord 
had  appeared,  we  are  told,  to  Ignatius  when  he  reached  the 
little  village  of  La  Storta,  so  well  known  to  travellers  as  the 
last  stage  beiore  Rome  is  reached,  on  the  roads  ^xom  Florence 
or  Loreto,  and  He  had  promised  him  His  protection  in  the 
iamous  words,  Ego  vohis  Romce pi'  ero.  The  favour  thus 
promised  was  to  be  purchased  and  secured  by  a  heavy  cross. 
Many  writers  have  told  the  history  ol  the  accusation  made 
against  Ignatius  and  his  companions,  oi  its  prompt  refutation, 
of  the  delay  on  the  part  of  the  Legate  and  the  Governor  of 
Rome  to  give  a  distinct  sentence  in  their  favour  on  account 
of  the  high  standing  of  some  of  the  persons  concerned  in  the  • 
propagation  of  the  calumny,  of  the  persistence  oi  Ignatius  in 
demanding  a  full  trial  and  public  decision,  and  of  the  pro- 
vidential presence  in  the  Holy  City  of  so  many  persons  of 
authority  who  could  bear  witness  to  his  past  career, — Juan 
Figueroa,  the  Vicar-General,  who  had  imprisoned  him  at  Al- 
cala,  Gaspar  de  Doctis,  the  official  oi  the  Legate  at  Venice, 

52  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

who  had  inquired  into  their  lives  and  doctrine  before  they 
first  began  to  preach  in  the  dominion  of  the  Republic,  the 
Inquisitor  of  Paris,  Ori,  who  had  also  examined  him  there, 
and  the  Bishop  of  Vicenza,  in  whose  diocese  some  of  the 
companions  had  preached  and  laboured.  The  story  belongs 
rather  to  the  history  of  the  Society,  or  to  the  life  of  Ignatius, 
than  to  that  of  Francis  Xavier,  but  it  must  have  had,  with 
all  else  that  passed  during  these  two  years  at  Rome,  an  effect' 
upon  the  full  formation  of  his  Apostolic  character.  The 
Pope's  return  to  his  States  in  the  autumn  saved  Ignatius 
and  his  companions  from  the  blight  which  would  have  fallen 
on  their  reputation  if  the  calumnies  had  been  allowed  to  lin- 
ger on  without  positive  condemnation  from  authority.  Ig- 
natius had  a  long  interview  with  Paul  III.  at  Frascati,  before 
the  time  of  the  villegiatura  was  ended,  and  the  result  was  a 
peremptory  order  to  the  Governor  Conversini,  to  bring  the 
affair  to  an  issue.  Paul  had  now  come  under  the  influence 
of  that  peculiar  charm  which  the  sanctity  and  noble  simplicity 
of  Ignatius  enabled  him  to  exercise  on  all  who  conversed 
with  him  intimately.  The  Pope  spoke  openly  in  favour  of 
the  companions,  even  in  their  own  presence — for  they  were 
admitted  once  a  fortnight  to  dispute  on  theology  in  his  pre- 
sence during  his  meal.  The  deferred  sentence  bears  date 
November  1 8,  1538.  In  a  letter  written  about  a  month  after 
this  time,"  Ignatius  mentions  that  they  had  then  been  allowed 
a  further  liberty  in  instructing  children  in  schools — one  of  the 
works  of  the  Christian  ministry  on  which  he  set  the  highest 

The  winter  which  succeeded  this  first  year  of  the  labours  of 
the  companions  now  in  Rome  gave  them  another  opportunity 
of  winning  for  themselves  the  esteem  and  love  which  always,  in 
the  long  run,  find  out  true  devotion  and  ardent  charity.  A  se- 
vere famine  fell  upon  the  city,  and  thousands  would  have  per- 
ished from  hunger  or  disease  consequent  upon  privation,  but  for 
the  exertions  of  this  handful  ofstrangers,  who  had  but  just  been 

8  To  Elisabeth  Roser  in  Spain,  Dec.  19,  1538 ;   Menchacha,  Ep.  S.  Iqn, 
1.  i.  ep.  8. 

Labours  in  Italy  arid  Rome,  ^^ 

vindicated  from  charges  which  represented  them  as  the  most 
worthless  of  men.  Very  soon  they  had  under  their  charge  in 
one  large  building  four  hundred  poor,  for  whom  they  begged 
food,  clothing,  bedding,  and  all  other  necessaries,  and  of  whose 
souls  they  took  care  after  they  had  cared  for  their  bodies.  A 
great  movement  of  charity  was  the  natural  result  of  their  noble 
example,  and  the  poor  were  supported  by  large  contributions 
until  the  spring  had  set  in. 

Meanwhile,  several  men  of  distinction  were  applying  for 
admission  into  the  Company,  and  Ignatius  had  also  been  re- 
quested to  send  some  of  his  labourers  to  other  cities  in  Italy. 
He  had  been  unable  to  receive  recruits,  because  one  of  the 
charges  brought  against  him  and  his  friends  had  been  that  they 
were  endeavouring  to  found  a  new  religious  order  without 
leave  from  the  Holy  See.  It  had  also  seemed  inexpedient  that 
they  should  separate,  although  they  did  not  yet  live  what  is 
called  a  strict  *  community  life,'  without  first  determining  on 
many  essential  points.  In  fact,  several  months  in  the  year  1539 
(the  last  of  Francis  Xavier's  life  in  Rome  and  as  a  companion 
of  Ignatius)  were  spent  in  prayer,  deUberation,  and  consultation 
as  to  the  future  of  the  Company.  They  laboured  in  their  works 
of  charity  by  day,  and  spent  part  of  the  night  in  their  consulta- 
tions. We  have  an  account  of  these  deliberations  from  Igna- 
tius himself,9  and  it  shows  how  slowly  and  prudently  the  plan 
of  the  Society  was  matured.  If  the  date  given  by  Alcazar  of 
the  proposals  submitted  to-  the  companions  on  their  first  as- 
sembly in  Rome  be  correct,  a  whole  year  must  have  elapsed 
before  the  vital  question  of  obedience  under  one  head,  in  which 
the  whole  existence  of  the  Society  as  an  order  was  involved, 
was  finally  determined.  There  were  difficulties  internal  and 
external.  The  chief  difficulty  as  to  the  formation  of  a  body 
under  one  head  seems  to  have  consisted  in  the  intention  of  the 

^  The  original  of  this  most  interesting  document  is,  or  was,  in  the  Archivium 
of  the  Society  at  Rome,  in  Latin,  in  the  handwriting  of  St.  Ignatius.  Alcazar 
1(.  c.)  gives  an  exact  translation  in  Spanish.  The  deliberations  began  after 
Easter  1539  ('after  Lent  was  passed').  Easter-day  fell  that  year  on  April  6th. 
The  paper  mentioned  a  little  further  on  was  signed  on  Tuesday,  April  15th. 


St,  Francis  Xavier, 

companions  to  offer  themselves  unreservedly  to  the  Pope.  If 
the  Pope  were  to  send  them  hither  and  thither,  were  they  to 
keep  up  as  before  their  mutual  relations  one  to  another?  There 
were  also  great  external  difficulties  which  had,  in  fact,  to  be  over- 
come, and  which  it  cost  Ignatius  many  prayers  and  sacrifices 
to  dispose  of.  The  religious  orders  at  that  time  were  in  so 
bad  a  state  generally,  that  there  were  thoughts  in  high  places 
either  of  abolishing  them  altogether,  or  of  reducing  them  very 
greatly  in  number.  The  idea  of  a  new  order  would  hardly  be 
tolerated ;  a  new  order,  moreover,  which,  as  the  companions 
were  fully  conscious,  would  require  the  permission  on  the  part 
of  the  Holy  See  to  depart  in  some  very  essential  particulars 
from  any  existing  type. 

The  question  as  to  the  retention  at  all  costs  of  the  union 
in  which  they  had  found  so  much  happiness  and  profit  was  re- 
solved unanimously  in  the  affirmative.  The  question  as  to  the 
obedience  to  one  head  cost  much  deliberation  ;  and  it  was  at 
one  time  thought  that  it  would  be  expedient  for  them  to  retire 
for  some  such  space  as  forty  days  into  absolute  solitude,  spend- 
ing their  time  entirely  in  prayer  and  austerities,  in  order  to  solve 
it.  This  idea  was  abandoned,  partly  from  fear  of  the  scandal 
that  might  follow  if  they  seemed  to  disperse  or  to  leave  Rome. 
Ignatius  gives  us  the  reasons  which  were  urged  on  both  sides. 
The  decision,  however,  was  at  last  unanimous  in  favour  of  the 
addition  of  a  third  vow  of  obedience  to  the  vow  of  poverty  and 
chastity ;  and  a  document  was  drawn  up,  and  signed  by  all  the 
companions  on  the  15th  of  April  1539,  which  pledged  them  all 
to  enter  the  Society  as  soon  as  it  was  approved  by  the  Pope. 
The  fourth  vow,  which  is  now  taken  by  the  Professed  of  the 
Society,  to  go  on  any  mission  on  which  the  Pope  shall  send 
them,  whether  among  Christians  or  among  the  heathen,  was 
decided  on  the  4th  of  May.  Other  arrangements  as  to  the 
teaching  of  children,  the  duration  of  the  Generalate,  and  the 
'  experiments'  to  which  those  who  wished  to  enter  the  Society 
were  to  be  subjected,  were  added,  and  the  whole  plan  was  then 
put  on  paper  and  submitted  by  Ignatius  to  the  Pope.  The  Pope 
gave  it  for  consideration  to  the  Master  of  the  Sacred  Palace, — 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome,  5  5 

the  great  order  of  St.  Dominic  being  made,  as  it  were,  to  stand 
sponsor  for  the  original  constitution  of  the  Society  founded  by 
Ignatius.  Father  Badia  returned  it  to  the  Pope  with  great 
commendations,  and  it  was  finally  approved,  but  only  verbally, 
by  Paul  III.  on  Sept.  3,  1539,  at  Tivoli.  The  formal  approba- 
tion, as  to  which  the  Pope  at  first  hesitated,  and  which  at  one 
time  seemed  extremely  improbable,  on  account  of  the  strenu- 
ous and  obstinate  opposition  of  Cardinal  Guidiccioni,  who  had 
taken  up  strongly  the  opinion  that  all  religious  orders  ought 
to  be  reduced  to  four,  was  not  granted  till  more  than  a  year 
later,  when,  on  the  Feast  of  SS.  Cosmas  and  Damian,  Sept.  27, 
1540,  Paul  III.  signed  the  bull  Regimiiii  militantis  Ecclesice. 
Before  that  time  Francis  Xavier  had  left  Rome  and  the  side  of 
Ignatius  for  ever.  The  bull  was  not  formally  promulgated  till 
the  spring  of  1 541. 

Soon  after  the  last  points  submitted  for  deliberation  had 
been  settled,  the  dispersion  of  the  members  of  the  future  So- 
ciety had  begun.  In  May,  Simon  Rodriguez  and  Brouet  had 
been  sent  to  Siena,  along  with  Francis  Strada,  a  young  Span- 
iard whom  Ignatius  had  fallen  in  with  more  than  a  year  beiore, 
on  his  return  from  Monte  Cassino.  The  object  of  the  Pope  in 
sending  the  Fathers  to  Siena  was  the  restoration  Oi  discipline 
in  a  certain  convent,  but  the  benefit  of  their  presence  was  soon 
felt  in  the  whole  town.  Codurius  preached  in  the  summer  at 
Velletri,  and  in  the  following  Advent  at  Tivoli.  Laynez  and 
Favre  were  sent  to  accompany  the  Cardinal  01  St.  Angelo  in 
his  Legation  to  Parma,  where  Jerome  Domenech  and  some 
other  valuable  recruits  were  gained  to  the  Society.  Laynez 
laboured  also  at  Piacenza  and  Reggio ;  Bobadilla  went  to  help 
in  reviving  religion,  and  indeed  civil  peace  and  order  itselr,  in 
Ischia,  and  preached  with  much  fruit  in  Naples  itself.  ]\Iean- 
while  Salmeron  continued  his  lectures  at  Rome,  and  preached 
and  heard  confessions  also  :  Codurius,  Le  Jay,  Ignatius  himselr, 
and  Francis  Xavier  made  up  the- little  company.  Francis  Xavier 
was  the  secretary,  and  kept  up  the  correspondence  with  the  ab- 
sent members.  He  thus  began  to  be  the  chief  letter  writer  01 
the  Society — but  unfortunately  those  first  Fathers  were  too  busy 

5  5  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

and  too  frequently  changing  their  abodes  to  keep  letters.  Thus 
the  months  passed  on,  until  on  the  15th  of  March  1540,  Igna- 
tius called  him  to  his  room,  and  told  him  that  it  was  his  lot  to 
leave  Rome  the  next  day  in  company  with  the  Portuguese  am- 
bassador, Pedro  de  Mascarenas,  to  join  Simon  Rodriguez,  who 
had  already  sailed  for  Lisbon  from  Civita  Vecchia,  in  the  first 
missionary  expedition  of  the  Society  to  the  East  Indies. 

It  was  one  of  those  providential  arrangements  which  seem 
the  result  of  simple  chance.  Govea,  the  Superior  of  the  Col- 
lege of  St.  Barbara  at  Paris,  who  had  been  so  nearly  betrayed 
into  an  act  of  so  much  hostility  and  unfairness  to  Ignatius  as 
the  infliction  upon  him  of  a  public  flogging,  and  who  had  been 
converted  to  a  better  mind  by  the  interview  which  the  Saint 
sought  with  him,  was  now  the  trusted  adviser  of  John  III.,  King 
of  Portugal,  a  zealous  Christian  Prince,  most  desirous  of  doing 
all  in  his  power  to  further  the  spread  of  the  Gospel  truth  in  the 
new  empire  which  had  fallen  into  his  hands  in  the  extreme 
East.  Govea  had  written  to  Ignatius  about  the  great  wants  of 
the  Indies,  and  he  had  recommended  the  King  to  apply  for 
several  of  the  companions  of  Ignatius  as  missionaries  to  the 
heathen  there.  The  King  ordered  Mascarenas  to  make  the 
request.  The  ambassador  asked  for  six,  Ignatius  would  only 
give  two,  and  the  Pope  declined  to  force  him  to  do  more. 
Ignatius  named  Simon  Rodriguez,  naturally  acceptable  to  the 
King,  as  he  was  himself  a  Portuguese  of  noble  family,  and 
Bobadilla,  who  was  still  labouring  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples. 
Rodriguez  sailed,  as  we  have  said,  at  once :  he  had  but  just 
returned  from  Siena,  and  was  troubled  with  a  quartan  ague ; 
but  nothing  could  stop  him.  He  took  with  him  as  a  companion 
Father  Paul  of  Camerino,  who  had  lately  joined  the  compan- 
ions, and  of  whom  we  shall  hear  more  in  the  letters  of  Francis 
Xavier.  The  second,  or  rather  the  third,  of  the  missionaries 
was  to  travel  to  Portugal  by  land  with  Mascarenas.  But  Boba- 
dilla only  reached  Rome  just  before  the  time  appointed  for  the 
departure  of  the  ambassador,  and  when  he  arrived  he  fell  so  ill 
as  to  be  unable  to  travel.  The  ambassador  could  not  wait,  and 
would  not  go  without  the  promised  missionary.     A  substitute 

Labours  in  Italy  and  Rome.  57 

had  to  be  found  at  the  last  moment,  and  Ignatius  gave  to  the 
Indian  mission  his  very  right  hand,  his  secretary,  the  man  for 
whose  conversion  he  had  laboured  so  industriously  and  so  per- 
severingly  at  Paris.  Xavier  had  just  time  to  receive  the  part- 
ing blessing  of  Paul  III.,  and  then  he  embraced  Ignatius  for 
the  last  time,  and  set  forth  on  the  long  journey,  or  series  of 
journeys,  which  was  to  end  twelve  years  and  a  half  later  on  the 
little  island  of  San  Chan  within  sight  of  the  shores  of  China. 

Francis  in  Lisbon, 

The  appointment  of  Francis  Xavier  to  the  mission  of  the 
Indies  appears,  as  we  have  said,  to  have  been  brought  about 
by  chance,  and  was  certainly  a  variation  from  the  original  in- 
tention of  Ignatius.  It  is  nevertheless  true  that  it  was  not 
unexpected  by  Francis  himself.  He  had  heard  of  the  wonder- 
ful field  opened  to  Apostolic  labourers  in  the  Indies  by  the 
establishment  of  the  Portuguese  dominion  in  those  countries, 
and  of  the  miserable  darkness  which  involved  so  many  millions 
of  souls  redeemed  by  the  Blood  of  Jesus  Christ.  He  had 
longed  to  offer  himself  for  such  labours,  and  those  who  knew 
him  most  intimately  had  heard  him  utter  strange  words  con- 
cerning them.  Laynez  used  to  relate  afterwards  how,  when  he 
was  sleeping  in  the  same  room  with  Francis,  he  had  sometimes 
been  awakened  by  hearing  him  cry  out  as  if  under  the  strain 
of  a  great  burthen,  and  how  Francis  had  afterwards  confessed 
that  he  had  seemed  to  have  been  carrying  on  his  shoulders  an 
Indian,  the  weight  of  whom  had  seemed  almost  to  crush  him, 
and  how  he  had  found  himself  perfectly  exhausted  by  his  exer- 
tions. Simon  Rodriguez,  whom  he  was  once  nursing  during 
an  illness,  had  heard  him  cry  out  in  his  dreams,  *  More  !  more  !' 
and  when  Francis  parted  from  him  on  his  own  voyage  to  the 
East,  he  told  him  as  a  last  secret  that  he  had  then  had  repre- 
sented to  him  a  vast  scene  of  toil — labours,  dangers,  and  suf- 
ferings which  he  was  to  undergo — and  how  God  had  given 
him  the  courage  to  desire  that  the  sufferings  might  be  even 
increased.  These  things  show  how  much  his  mind  was  turned 
in  that  direction,  as  well  as  the  magnanimous  courage  with 
which  he  was  ready  to  encounter  the  career  of  toil  now  opened 
to  him. 

The  Society  was  not  yet  approved  by  the  Holy  Father 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  59 

except  by  word  of  mouth.  The  conclusion  of  the  affair  was 
expected  daily,  but  it  did  not  really  take  place  till  half  a  year 
after  the  time  when  Xavier  left  Rome.  He  placed  in  Laynez's 
hands  a  letter  to  be  used  when  the  time  came  for  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Society  to  give  their  suffrages.  It  contained  three 
declarations.  First  of  all,  he  declared  that  he  accepted  before- 
hand all  the  rules  and  constitutions  which  should  be  made  by 
those  of  the  Society  who  might  be  conveniently  assembled  at 
Rome,  as  soon  as  his  Holiness  granted  his  approbation  to  their 
plan.  He  knew  that  the  companions  would  soon  be  dispersed 
into  various  countries,  and  he  promised  acquiescence  in  the 
arrangements  of  those  who  might  be  assembled,  if  only  two 
or  three  or  whoever  they  might  be.  This  he  signed  with  his 
name.  A  second  part  contained  his  suffrage  for  the  election  of 
Superior.  He  declared  that  he  thought  it  right,  in  his  consci- 
ence, that  their  old  and  true  Father,  Master  Ignatius,  who  had 
brought  them  together  with  so  much  labour,  should  be  their 
Superior.  *  He  will  know  best  how  to  preserve  us,  guide  us, 
and  urge  us  on  to  better  things,  because  he  thoroughly  knows 
every  one  of  us.'  After  his  death.  Master  Peter  Favre  should, 
he  thought,  be  chosen.  A  third  declaration  is  added,  in  which 
he  promises  *  now  for  then,  when  the  Society  shall  have  been 
collected,  and  a  Superior  chosen,  perpetual  poverty,  chastity, 
and  obedience  therein.'  He  adjures  Laynez,  his  dearest 
Father  in  Christ,  to  offer  these  his  vows  for  him  to  the  Superior 
who  shall  be  elected.^ 

It  was  late  in  Lent  when  Francis  left  Rome.  The  account 
of  his  journey  to  Portugal,  which  lasted  till  nearly  the  end  of 
June,  is  chiefly  derived  from  his  own  letters,  though  they  na- 
turally omit  certain  details  as  to  himself  which  he  was  very 
unlikely  to  have  mentioned.  He  reached  Bologna  soon  after 
Easter,  having  passed  through  Lore  to,  where  he  paid  his  de- 
votions, again,  and  for  the  last  time,  in  the  Holy  House  of 
Nazareth.  At  Bologna  he  was  received  with  enthusiasm,  for 
the  memory  of  his  labours  there  two  years  before  had  not 
died  away.  On  the  first  day  of  his  arrival  the  church  of  Santa 
1  We  print  this  letter  in  the  Notes  to  this  Book, 

6o  Sf.  Francis  Xavier, 

Lucia,  where  he  was  to  say  mass,  was  full,  two  hours  before 
day,  of  people  who  desired  to  assist  at  it,  and  he  spent  a  great 
deal  of  time  in  hearing  confessions  and  seeing  old  friends.^ 
He  had  a  long  interview  with  the  Cardinal  Legate,  who  pro- 
mised his  favour  to  the  Society.  The  following  letter,  in  ans- 
wer to  one  which  he  had  received  from  Ignatius,  gives  a  short 
account  of  his  proceedings,  thus  far,  and  it  is  full  of  that 
tender  feeling  of  personal  affection  which  made  his  apostolical 
exile  from  his  friends  a  sacrifice  of  peculiar  intensity  to  him. 

(ii.)  To  my  brothers  in  our  Lord  Jesus  Christy  Don 
Ignatius  and  Don  Peter  Codacio^^  at  the  lor  re  Mel- 
angolo^  at  the  house  of  Signor  Antonio  FreripaniJ^ 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  be  ever 
with  us,  to  help  and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

On  Easter  Day  I  received  your  letter  which  came  with  the 
despatches  of  my  Lord  Ambassador;  and  I  cannot  express  all 
the  joy  and  consolation  which  it  has  caused  me — God  our 
Lord  alone  knows  it.  For  what  is  left  of  this  life,  I  am  well  as- 
sured, it  will  be  by  letter  only  that  we  shall  hold  intercourse — 
in  the  other  life,  we  shall  ht  facie  ad  faciem^  and  embrace  one 

2  Some  years  after  this,  the  church  of  Santa  Lucia  itself  was  given  to  the 

3  Codacio  was  a  priest,  a  native  of  Lodi,  of  a  good  family  and  considerable 
wealth  (sacerdos  honestus  et  clarus  e  Pontificii  familia — of  the  Pope's  house- 
hold— nee  parvis  Ecclesise  opibus  ac  facultatibus  prseditus)  says  Orlandini  (ii.  66), 
who  was  the  first  Italian  to  enter  the  Society,  and  had  begged  to  be  allowed  to 
act  as  its  Procurator  in  temporal  matters.  Orlandini  tells  us  that  he  was  so 
useful  to  it  that  some  people  called  it  Codacio's  Society. 

*  The  original  of  this  letter  was  preserved  at  Bologna,  in  the  College  of  St. 
Lucia,  and  P'ather  Menchacha,  the  very  careful  editor  of  the  Epistles  of  St.  Fran- 
cis, says  that  he  copied  it  out  from  the  Spanish.  (Proleg.  p.  liv.)  It  appears, 
however,  somewhat  altered  in  his  text,  as  that  part  of  his  book  had  been  printed 
before  he  made  the  comparison.     We  follow  the  original  in  our  translation. 

"  P.  Poussines,  who  published  a  large  collection  of  the  Letters  of  St.  Francis 
in  i666,  tells  us  in  his  Prolegomena,  that  whenever  the  Saint,  writing  in  Spanish 
or  Portuguese,  puts  in  a  few  words  in  Latin,  either  as  a  quotation  or  otherwise, 
he  has  left  them  in  italics  in  his  own  text.  We  shall  insert  them  either  in  the 
text  or  in  notes.     See  Menchacha,  Ep.  S.  Francisci,  t.  i.  p.  xxxviii. 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  6i 

another  perpetually.  So  what  remains  to  us  is  that  for  this  little 
time  which  we  have  still  to  pass  in  our  mortal  exile,  we  should 
take  frequent  looks  at  one  another  by  means  of  letters,  and 
for  my  part,  I  mean  to  do  just  as  you  bid  me  in  this  matter, 
and  to  keep  the  rule  which  little  girls  observe  of  writing 
constantly  to  their  mothers. 

'I  have  had  a  long,  leisurely,  and  perfectly  open  conversa- 
tion with  my  Lord  Cardinal  of  Ivrea,^  as  you  commissioned  me 
in  your  letter.  He  received  me  in  the  kindest  way,  offering 
with  great  earnestness  to  favour  us  in  everything  that  lies  in 
his  power.  The  good  old  man  embraced  me  when  I  left  him 
and  kissed  his  hand  :  and  while  he  was  talking,  I  could  not 
help  throwing  myself  at  his  feet,  and  kissing  his  hand  in  the 
name  of  all  our  Society.  As  far  as  I  could  judge  from  his 
answers  to  me,  he  highly  approves  our  way  of  going  on. 

The  Lord  Ambassador  heaps  so  many  favours  and  atten- 
tions upon  me  that  I  should  never  finish  if  I  were  to  tell  you  all, 
and  I  don't  know  how  I  could  ever  have  consented  to  accept 
them,  if  I  did  not  reflect,  and  were  not  convinced,  that  in 
India  I  shall  pay  for  them  at  the  cost  of  my  life  and  nothing 
less.  On  Palm  Sunday  I  heard  his  confession  in  the  Church 
of  our  Lady  at  Loreto,  and  gave  him  holy  communion.  I 
did  the  same  to  a  number  -of  his  people.  I  said  mass  in  the 
Chapel  of  our  Lady,  and  the  good  ambassador  got  all  the 
people  of  his  suite  to  receive  holy  communion  with  him  in 
that  Holy  House.  Again  on  Easter  Day  I  heard  his  con- 
fession, gave  him  absolution,  and  afterwards  communion,  as 
well  as  to  other  good  and  religious  persons  of  his  household. 
His  domestic  Chaplain  commends  himself  very  much  to  all 
your  prayers.     He  has  promised  to  go  with  us  to  the  Indies. 

Please,  my  dearest  brother  Don  Pedro,  to  give  my  saluta- 
tions to  Donna  Faustina  Ancolini,  and  remind  her  in  my  name, 
if  it  is  not  too  much  for  you  to  do,  to  keep  her  promise  to  me 
that  she  would  go  to  confession  and  communion.  Tell  her 
also,  if  you  please,  to  write  and  let  me  know  that  she  has 
done  so,  and  how  often.  Tell  her  that  I  have  said  one  mass 
^  Philibcrt  Fcrreri,  Bishop  of  Ivrca,  Cardinal  Legate  of  Bologna. 

62  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

for  her  and  my  dear  Vincenzo,  and  that  to-morrow  I  shall 
say  one  for  herself.  She  may  be  quite  sure,  moreover,  that  I 
shall  never  forget  her,  even  when  I  am  in  India.  And  tell 
her  from  me  that  if  she  wishes  to  do  a  thing  that  will  give  real 
pleasure  to  her  and  my  dear  Vincenzo,  she  will  forgive  those 
who  killed  her  son,  for  Vincenzo  certainly  prays  a  great  deal 
for  them  in  heaven.  Here  in  Bologna  I  have  more  to  do 
hearing  confessions  than  I  had  lately  in  Rome  at  San  Luigi. 
My  tenderest  love  to  all  of  you  ;  if  I  do  not  mention  each  one 
by  name,  it  is  not,  you  may  be  quite  sure,  that  I  forget  any 

Your  Brother  and  Servant  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Bologna,  March  31st,  1540. 

We  must  suppose  that  the  lady  here  spoken  of  had  lost 
her  son  in  one  of  the  quarrels  so  frequent  among  the  young 
men  of  the  time,  and  had  been  consoled  by  Francis  before  his 

The  next  letter  which  we  possess  is  written  from  Lisbon 
some  time  after  his  arrival  there. 

(ill.)  To  the  Fathers  and  Brothers  of  the  Society  of 
Jesus  at  Rome. 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  Christ  our  Lord  be  always  our 
support  and  help  !     Amen. 

We  have  received  from  Christ  our  Lord  many  and  continual 
favours  all  through  our  journey  from  Rome  into  Portugal,  which 
has  taken  us  three  months.  That  all  that  distance  and  time, 
through  so  many  difficulties  and  toils,  my  Lord  Ambassador  and 
all  his  suite,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  should  never  have 
ceased  to  enjoy  perfect  health,  is  a  matter  for  which  we  ought 
certainly  to  give  great  thanks  and  praise  to  Christ  our  Lord,  es- 
pecially as  over  and  above  ordinary  helps  He  has  held  a  hand 
of  particular  protection  over  us  to  deliver  us  from  all  dangers, 
and  was  also  pleased  to  inspire  my  Lord  Ambassador  with  wis- 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  Gt, 

dom  and  prudence  to  keep  all  his  people  in  so  holy  an  order, 
that  they  have  seemed  to  be  rather  a  reHgious  community  than 
a  secular  household.  He  managed  this  by  himself  frequenting 
the  sacraments  of  penance  and  holy  communion  :  his  servants 
consequently  did  the  same  of  their  own  accord,  induced  by  so 
noble  an  example ;  and  this  they  did  so  often  and  in  such  large 
numbers,  that  often  as  we  went  along  it  was  easy  to  foresee  that 
when  we  got  to  our  hostel  we  should  have  far  too  little  time 
and  too  scanty  convenience  for  satisfying  the  wants  of  so 
many ;  and  so  I  was  obliged  now  and  then  to  turn  aside  from 
the  road  and  dismount  and  find  a  convenient  place,  so  as  to 
hear  a  part  of  the  retinue  beforehand. 

We  had  not  yet  got  out  of  Italy  when  our  Lord  was  pleased 
to  show  His  power  in  a  manner  quite  miraculous,  on  one  of 
our  company,  a  servant  of  my  Lord  Ambassador.  It  was  the 
same  man  whom  you  saw  at  Rome  first  put  off,  through  weak- 
ness and  cowardice,  the  design  he  had  formed  of  embracing  the 
religious  life,  and  afterwards  abandon  it  altogether.  We  came 
on  a  large  river,  and  no  one  knew  whether  or  where  there  was 
a  ford.  This  poor  man  was  urged  by  his  own  rashness  to  try 
to  find  it,  though  we  all  cried  out  to  him  not  to  do  it ;  all  in 
vain,  for  he  rode  on  into  the  channel  of  the  stream,  though  he 
knew  nothing  of  its  depth.-  He  had  not  gone  far,  when  the 
force  of  the  current  overpowered  his  horse,  and  carried  it  away 
together  with  its  rider.  We  all  looked  on  in  heartfelt  pity. 
The  stream  bore  him  down  in  a  moment,  quite  as  far  as  the  dis- 
tance from  your  house  at  Rome  to  San  Luigi's.  And  then  our 
Lord  God  vouchsafed  to  hear  the  ardent  prayers  which  His  ser- 
vant, my  Lord  Ambassador,  poured  forth  at  that  pitiable  sight, 
praying,  and  all  his  servants  with  him,  non  sine  lacrymis^  for  what 
was  in  all  human  appearance  the  desperate  case  of  that  poor 
fellow.  Our  Lord  heard  their  prayers,  and  saved  him  from  the 
very  jaws  of  destruction  by  a  manifest  miracle.  The  man  was 
Master  of  the  Horse  in  my  Lord's  household.  No  doubt  when 
he  was  being  carried  along  by  the  whirling  stream  he  would 
much  have  preferred  the  inside  of  a  monastery  to  his  present 
case.     And  his  greatest  trouble  at  this  time,  as  he  told  me 

64  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

himself  afterwards,  was  the  memory  of  the  opportunity  hs  had 
refused,  and  which  then  he  would  have  willingly  regained  at 
any  price  whatsoever.  He  told  me  that  he  was  much  less  over- 
whelmed by  horror  at  the  danger  he  was  in  at  that  dreadful 
moment  than  by  the  sting  of  his  conscience,  which  keenly 
reproached  him  with  having  led  a  careless  life  without  making 
provision  for  death,  and  he  added,  that  at  that  critical  juncture 
he  was  tormented  above  all  by  tardy  repentance  for  having  put 
off  his  entrance  into  religion,  to  which  he  had  felt  that  God 
certainly  called  him.  He  was  so  full  of  these  thoughts  when 
we  recovered  him  that  he  fell  to  exhorting  the  whole  company 
not  to  sin  in  the  same  way.  His  face  and  countenance  were 
all  changed,  pale  beyond  expression,  and  marked  with  the 
sense  of  the  danger  he  had  run ;  he  seemed  a  man  come  back 
from  hell,  and  all  this  gave  great  weight  to  his  words.  He 
discoursed  long  and  pathetically  upon  the  torments  of  the 
damned,  like  a  man  who  had  experienced  them  :  and  he  said 
over  and  over  again  that  it  was  very  true  indeed,  that  a  man 
who  during  life  had  not  thought  of  preparing  for  death,  had  no 
time  to  remember  God  when  the  necessity  of  death  was  upon 
him.  Such  was  the  discourse  of  this  good  man,  discourse  not 
gathered  from  reading  books,  or  from  studious  meditation,  but 
dictated  by  his  own  experience.  And  when  I  think  this  over,  I 
am  deeply  moved  at  the  very  similar  carelessness  of  many 
whom  in  various  ways  we  have  made  acquaintance  with  and 
known  as  friends,  whom  I  see  putting  off  in  the  same  way  the 
execution  of  good  plans  and  holy  desires  to  serve  God,  which 
they  acknowledge  to  have  felt.  And  I  fear  very  much  that  they, 
too,  may  find  themselves  some  day  surprised  by  a  time  when 
they  may  most  ardently  desire  to  accomplish  what  they  had 
determined  and  will  then  have  no  power  of  accomplishing. 

[The  lives  of  Francis  Xavier  are  unanimous  in  attributing 
the  miraculous  rescue  of  the  poor  man  here  mentioned  to  the 
prayers  of  the  Saint.  It  needs  but  little  acquaintance  with 
the  manner  of  speaking  and  writing  of  matters  in  which  they 
themselves  are  concerned  which  is  common  to  great  servants 

Francis  in  Lisbon..  6^ 


of  God,  to  see  through  the  veil  which  his  humility  has  here 
thrown  over  his  own  part  in  the  afiair,  as  well  as  over  his  in- 
fluence in  producing  the  marvellous  piety  and  regularity  which 
prevailed  in  the  whole  company  during  the  journey.  Two 
other  instances  of  his  charity  and  its  preternatural  reward  are 
mentioned  in  the  same  histories.  In  the  first  case  he  is  said 
to  have  risked  his  own  life  to  save  the  secretary  of  the  ambas- 
sador, who  had  fallen  over  a  precipice  in  the  Alps  into  a  deep 
cavity  in  the  snow,  and  in  the  second  to  have  saved  another  of 
the  party  who  had  ridden  on  in  advance  and  fallen  under  his 
horse  in  a  very  dangerous  manner. 

Francis  also  makes  no  mention  of  an  incident  on  the  jour- 
ney which  has  often  been  mentioned  as  an  instance  of  that  close 
adherence  to  the  words  of  our  Lord  and  to  the  spirit  of  an 
Apostolical  vocation  which  is  characteristic  of  men  such  as  he. 
The  road  through  Spain  passed  at  no  great  distance  from  the 
Castle  of  Xavier,  where  his  mother,  of  whom  he  was  the 
youngest  and  perhaps  the  darhng  son,  was  still  living.  The 
ambassador  knew  this,  and  was  expecting  Francis  to  apply  to 
him  for  leave  to  turn  aside  for  a  short  time,  in  order  to  visit 
his  mother  for  the  last  time.  When  Francis  said  nothing, 
Mascarenas  began  to  urge  him  to  take  the  opportunity,  and 
to  offer  to  make  arrangements  for  his  convenience.  But  he 
only  answered  that  they  would  meet  with  all  the  greater  joy  in 
heaven  for  having  taken  no  leave  of  one  another  on  earth. 
lS  Francis  only  knew  of  his  destination  for  India  the  day  be- 
>re  he  left  Rome,  and  travelled  quite  as  fast  as  an  ordinary 
lessenger  could  have  travelled,  it  is  certain  that  he  could  not 
jave  apprized  his  family  of  his  journey,  and  that  therefore  they 
^ould  not  have  expected  him.  The  pain  of  foregoing  a  last 
tender  interview  was  all  his  own. 

The  letter,  which  we  have  for  a  moment  interrupted,  con- 
^nues  as  follows :] 

On  the  very  day  of  our  arrival  in  Lisbon  I  fell  in  with 
Master  Simon,  who  was  expecting  the  access  oi  a  quartan 
fever,  which,  as  was  thought,  was  due  at  that  very  time.     But 

VOL.  I.  F 

66  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

he  was  so  extremely  glad  to  see  me — not  more  glad  than  I  was 
to  see  and  to  embrace  him — that  his  joy  sent  away  his  fever 
and  all  its  effects,  and  neither  that  day,  nor  ever  since,  has 
he  felt  anything  of  the  kind,  though  it  is  now  a  month  since 
our  arrival.  He  is  perfectly  reestablished  in  health,  and  labours 
hard  in  our  Lord's  vineyard,  not  without  gathering  in  much 

The  number  of  persons  here  who  are  friendly  and  well 
disposed  towards  us  is  very  great,  indeed  so  great  that  I  am 
much  concerned  not  to  be  able,  on  account  of  their  multitude, 
to  return  to  all  of  them,  one  by  one,  all  due  observance  in  the 
way  of  salutations  and  visits,  which  it  would  certainly  be  a  duty 
to  return,  if  time  allowed  us  to  fulfil  the  obligation,  on  account 
of  the  honourable  and  conspicuous  dignity  of  the  greater  part 
of  these  persons.  I  have  also  observed  a  great  many  who  are 
inclined  to  good  things,  and  desirous  of  serving  God,  to  whom 
it  would  be  a  most  salutary  thing  to  give  some  of  the  Spiritual 
Exercises,  in  order  to  help  them  to  form  the  resolutions  of  exe- 
cuting at  once  what  they  go  on  putting  off^^  die  in  diem. 
For  whatever  haste  men  may  make  to  execute  what  they  know 
they  ought  to  do,  it  is  not  easy  for  them  to  escape  having 
something  to  answer  for  to  God  on  the  ground  of  overmuch 
delay,  and  thus  it  is  well  to  use  great  attention  in  putting  to 
flight  the  excuses  which  occur  for  continuing  to  temporize. 
The  full  knowledge  of  this  obligation  puts  very  salutary  spurs 
to  many  men's  sides,  which  make  them  feel  as  if  they  were 
roused  from  a  sort  of  lethargy,  so  as  to  see  that  where  there  is 
no  peace  to  be  found  they  will  never  find  it  —  those  men 
especially  I  speak  of,  who  against  all  reason  try  to  draw  God 
whither  they  wish,  and  refuse  to  go  where  He  calls  them,  allow- 
ing themselves  to  be  moved  more  by  their  own  disordered 
affections  than  by  the  good  desires  which  He  breathes  into 
their  hearts.  Far  more  worthy,  certainly,  of  pity  than  envy  ! 
All  those  whom  we  see  straining  themselves  to  climb  up  a 
path  so  steep  and  rugged,  toiling  up  hill  with  continual  labour, 
are  seeking  after  all  nothing  but  the  risk  of  a  headlong  fall,  or 
rather  the  certain  catastrophe  of  a  miserable  ruin. 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  67 

After  we  had  been  in  this  royal  city  three  or  four  days,  the 
King  sent  for  us,  and  received  us  with  the  utmost  kindness. 
He  was  alone,  in  his  cabinet,  with  the  QueenJ  We  remained 
with  him  for  an  hour,  or  a  little  more.  Their  Highnesses 
asked  us  many  questions,  particularly  about  our  Institute,  how 
long  ago  and  in  what  manner  we  had  come  to  know  one  an- 
other and  unite  ourselves  in  a  body,  then  what  had  been  the 
scope  of  our  first  plans,  and  lastly  about  the  persecutions  we 
had  suffered.  They  were  delighted  with  our  account  of  the 
manner  in  which  the  truth  had  at  last  been  discovered,  and 
praised  us  in  particular  for  having  carried  the  matter  on  with 
constancy  and  courage  to  the  extreme  issue  of  a  judicial  sent- 
ence. The  King  expressed  a  desire  to  see  with  his  own  eyes 
th6  sentence  by  which  we  were  absolved.  It  is  certainly  the 
general  opinion  of  all  that  we  acted  both  piously  and  wisely 
in  never  letting  anything  persuade  us  to  desist  from  urging  on 
the  cause  to  the  final  publication  of  the  sentence.  Most  people 
here  go  so  far  in  praising  us  for  this,  as  to  say  that  they  cannot 
help  expressing  the  opinion  that  if  we  had  not  done  what  we 
did,  it  appears  to  them  that  we  should  never  have  been  in  a 
position  to  reap  any  fruit  from  our  ministrations.  So,  as  I  said, 
they  are  never  tired  of  praising  our  constancy  in  braving  it  out 
intrepidly  on  to  the  final  issue  of  the  sentence  which  at  length 
put  the  truth  forward  in  full  light.  To  return  to  the  King 
and  Queen,  they  were  much  pleased  with  all  the  details  which 
they  heard  from  us  of  the  form  and  system  of  our  houses,  and 
of  the  object  and  scope  of  our  ministrations,  and  of  the  whole 
Institute.  During  our  audience,  the  King  sent  for  the  Infanta, 
lis  daughter,  and  the  Prince  Royal  his  son,  that  we  might  see 
them,  and  told  us  in  the  kindest  manner  how  many  sons  and 
laughters  the  Lord  had  given  him,  and  who  of  them  were 
lead  and  who  living. 

Both  their  Highnesses,  King  and  Queen  alike,  have  showed 
is  great  affection.  The  King  urged  us  with  much  earnestness, 
>n  the  very  day  of  our  first  interview,  to  hear  the  confessions 
>fthe  pages  of  his  household.  For  he  has  ordered  that  all 
''  The  Queen  was  Catharine  of  Austria,  sister  of  the  Emperor  Charles  V. 

68  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

the  young  noblemen  who  frequent  the  Court  should  go  to  con- 
fession once  a  week,  and  he  has  seriously  charged  us  to  look 
to  the  execution  of  this  order  and  to  have  our  eyes  on  all  these 
youths.  He  gave  the  following  reason  for  his  care  in  this 
respect,  that  he  considered  that  if  young  men  in  this  position 
ivere  accustomed  from  their  childhood  to  know  and  serve  God, 
they  would  grow  up  in  later  life  good  and  virtuous  men.^  Then 
if  the  nobles  are  what  they  ought  to  be,  the  common  people 
will  doubtless  form  itself  after  their  example,  and  thus  the 
hopes  of  restoring  good  morals  among  all  the  seculars  of  the 
kingdom  turn  upon  the  good  education  of  the  youth  of  the 
upper  classes.  For  it  certainly  is  beyond  doubt  that  if  that 
first  order  in  the  kingdom  were  conspicuous  for  holiness,  a 
large  part  of  the  remainder  would  be  drawn  to  follow  their 

We  have  certainly  great  reason  to  praise  God  for  the  religious 
disposition  and  the  zeal  of  this  excellent  King  for  the  promo- 
tion of  the  Divine  glory,  and  for  the  great  piety  with  which  he 
is  inclined  to  everything  that  is  good  and  holy ;  and  we  of  the 
Society  of  Jesus  in  particular  are  very  much  his  debtors,  for 
his  extreme  kindness  to  all  of  us,  to  you  at  Rome  as  well  as 
to  us  who  are  here.  The  ambassador,  who  has  had  a  conversa- 
tion with  the  King  since  our  audience,  told  me  that  he  had  said 
that  he  should  be  greatly  delighted  if  he  could  collect  and  have 
near  him  all  those  who  have  as  yet  entered  the  Society,  even 
though  the  cost  of  feeding  them  and  furnishing  them  with 
necessaries  were  to  consume  a  large  part  of  the  revenues  of 
the  Crown. 

We  know  that  a  great  number  of  our  friends  here  are  making 
efforts  to  oppose  our  departure  for  India,  because  they  think 
that  here  we  should  reap  greater  fruits  by  hearing  confessions, 
by  familiar  instructions,  by  giving  the  Spiritual  Exercises,  and 
by  exhorting  all  the  faithful  to  make  frequent  confessions  and 
communions ;  in  short  by  working  diligently  in  that  same  sort 
of  teaching  which  we  mean  to  adopt  in  the  Indies.    Among 

^  One  of  these  young  nobles  was  Miguel  de  Souza,  who  entered  the  Society, 
and  was  a  man  of  conspicuous  virtue. 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  69 

the  persons  who  think  this  are  the  Confessor  and  the  Preacher 
of  the  King,  who  both  urge  him  to  keep  us  here  in  the  hope 
0£  more  abundant  fruit.  Certain  others  hold  different  lan- 
guage, and  talk  wonderfully  about  the  results  that  may  be  ex- 
pected from  our  ministry  in  India.  Those  who  speak  thus  are 
men  of  authority  on  such  subjects,  having  lived  many  years  in 
the  Indies.  They  say  that  they  have  remarked  that  the  native 
tribes  are  very  well  disposed  to  accept  the  religion  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  if  it  be  offered  them  by  representatives  and 
teachers  such  as  we  are — they  mean  whose  way  of  proceeding 
is  far  removed  from  all  appearance  of  avarice.  If  therefore 
we  retain  out  there  also  what  we  show  here,  the  same  absten- 
tion from  and  contempt  of  worldly  convenience  and  gain, 
they  say  that  without  any  doubt  we  shall  in  a  iQ\Y  years  con- 
vert two  or  three  kingdoms  of  idolaters  to  the  faith  of  Jesus 
Christ,  and  that  the  people  will  not  hesitate  to  believe  us  and 
trust  us,  as  soon  as  they  have  found  out  for  certain  that  we 
seek  nothing  but  the  salvation  of  souls.  These  assurances, 
given  us  by  persons  of  such  character,  who  have  had  experi- 
ence on  the  spot,  and  who  have,  as  I  have  said,  passed  many 
years  in  India,  beget  in  us  a  great  confidence  of  reaping  in 
that  country  most  abundant  fruits  for  the  glory  of  God. 

Here  we  are  taking  great  pains  to  find  out  priests  who,  set- 
ting before  themselves  no  reward  but  that  of  serving  God  and 
helping  the  salvation  of  souls,  may  be  willing  to  go  with  us  to 
India,  and  indeed  we  can  see  nothing  by  which  we  can,  at  this 
moment,  do  more  service  or  give  greater  pleasure  to  our  Lord 
than  by  gaining  such  associates.  For  if  we  could  but  gather 
together  a  band  of  only  as  many  as  twelve  such  priests,  who 
would  be  willing  to  unite  themselves  to  us  with  one  heart  in 
these  plans  and  purposes,  it  is  unquestionable  that  we  should 
find  it  well  worth  our  labour.  And  already  some  such  ofier 
themselves  to  us.  We  have  fallen  in  with  a  priest  whom  we 
knew  in  Paris,  and  who  has  promised  us  to  come  and  remain 
with  us  until  death,  sharing  our  manner  of  life  and  all  our  de- 
signs. We  think  ourselves  certain  enough  of  him,  for  he  has 
given  us  fair  proofs  and  pledges  of  constancy  of  will.     There 

70  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

is  also  another,  a  subdeacon,  who  will  soon  be  a  priest,  who 
offers  himself  for  the  same  object  with  great  fervour.  And 
further,  a  certain  Doctor  of  Medicine,  who  was  at  one  time  a 
familiar  acquaintance  of  ours  at  Paris,  has  promised  to  sail  with 
us  to  India,  and  that  there  he  will  avail  himself  of  his  medical 
knowledge,  as  far  as  shall  be  expedient,  for  the  good  of  souls, 
and  to  draw  them  to  the  saving  knowledge  of  their  Creator, 
without  seeking  any  temporal  reward  by  his  services.  This 
one  thing  above  all  we  keep  in  view  always,  that  those  whom 
we  take  as  companions  should  be  entirely  free  from  all  desire 
of  gain.  Nor  will  this  in  itself  be  enough,  unless  we  are  also 
altogether  free  from  even  the  most  distant  appearance  of  it,  so 
that  neither  in  ourselves  nor  in  those  who  have  near  relations 
with  us,  shall  there  be  seen  anything  at  all  which  may  give  rise 
to  the  slightest  suspicion  that  we  have  come  there  to  seek  and 
acquire  temporal  rather  than  spiritual  goods. 

His  Highness  has  spoken  to  the  Bishop,  who  is  our  friend, 
and  also  to  his  own  Confessor,  about  using  us  as  public  preach- 
ers in  the  sacred  pulpit.  But  as  we  desired  to  begin  with  more 
lowly  offices,  we  at  first  put  the  matter  off  and  showed  our  wish 
not  to  occupy  ourselves  in  preaching,  although  those  who  know 
us  are  very  desirous  to  hear  us  in  the  pulpits  in  the  churches. 
But  one  day  the  King  sent  for  us,  and,  after  many  other  things, 
told  us  that  it  would  gratify  him  if  we  were  to  preach.  So 
then  we  offered  ourselves  for  the  work  with  the  greatest  readi- 
ness, not  only  on  account  of  our  eagerness,  and  indeed  our 
duty,  to  follow  the  injunctions  of  his  Highness,  but  also  on  ac- 
count of  our  hope,  founded  on  the  help  of  Christ  our  Lord 
accompanying  our  efforts,  of  spending  our  labours  with  some 
useful  profit  for  souls.  We  shall  begin  next  Sunday  week; 
and  the  special  goodwill  which  is  shown  to  us  on  all  sides  by 
the  inhabitants  of  this  city  forbids  us  to  doubt  of  a  favourable 
reception.  What  we  implore  of  our  Lord  with  repeated  prayers 
is  this,  that  He  will  be  pleased  to  increase  the  faith  of  those 
who  charitably  hope  for  some  good  from  us.^  And  this  good 
opinion  concerning  us  which  has  got  abroad  so  happily  in 
9  ui  aii^eat  eorumfidem  qui  de  nobis  aliquam  expectationem  habent,  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  7 1 

these  parts  will,  we  hope,  be  an  occasion  to  God,  out  of  His 
immense  goodness,  in  which  alone  we  trust,  of  imparting  to  us, 
if  not  for  our  own  sakes,  at  least  for  the  sake  of  the  people 
here  yvho  show  so  much  faith  and  devotion  in  listening  to  us, 
such  knowledge  and  grace  that  we  may  be  able  to  console 
them,  and  to  speak  to  them  the  things  that  are  necessary  or 
useful  to  them  for  the  salvation  of  their  souls.  1® 

To  all  of  you,  my  dearest  in  Christ, 


Lisbon,  July  3d,  1540. 

The  sanguine  hopefulness  which  was  always  characteristic 
of  Francis  Xavier,  and  which  is  so  often  allied  with  that  great 
afifectionateness  of  heart  which  became  in  him,  as  in  St.  Paul, 
the  foundation  of  many  of  the  distinctively  Apostolical  graces 
which  he  received,  is  hardly  more  conspicuous  in  this  letter 
than  the  strong  feeling,  almost  of  indignation  mingled  with 
alarm  and  pity,  with  which  he  regarded  the  case  of  so  many 
who  seemed  to  him  to  be  resisting  or  trifling  with  a  high  voca- 
tion offered  to  them  in  the  counsels  of  God.  He  will  be  con- 
tent with  a  band  of  only  twelve  priests,  who  were  to  live  the 
same  sort  of  life  with  himself  and  have  the  same  single  aim 
in  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel.  It  does  not  appear  that  he 
meant  them  necessarily  to-  become  members  of  the  Society. 
We  shall  find  that  these  moderate  expectations  were  to  turn 
out  to  be  very  far  in  excess  of  what  the  future  reserved  for  him 
in  the  way  of  companionship.  We  cannot  tell  whether  the 
priest  from  Paris  persevered  in  his  desire  of  entering  the  Com- 
pany, but  he  did  not  sail  for  India.  The  subdeacon,  if  he  were 
Francis  Mancias,  who  Xavier  afterwards  says  was  not  yet  in 
any  holy  orders,  went  to  India,  and  though  he  did  not  always  re- 
main with  St.  Francis,  we  owe  much  to  him  for  having  preserved 
to  us  a  large  number  of  the  letters  of  his  Apostolical  Superior. 
Nor  do  we  hear  anything  more  of  the  Doctor  of  Medicine. 
Francis  Xavier  might  have  been  disconcerted  if  he  had  known, 

i'>  ut  possimtis  consolari  eos,  et  guce  vel  necessaria  vel  utilia  sunt  ad  anima 
rum  salutem  dicere.  (Latin  words  in  the  original.) 

72  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

too,  that  Simon  Rodriguez,  his  own  intimate  friend,  was  to  re- 
main in  Portugal,  and  that  he  was  himself  to  be  the  only  one 
of  the  original  companions  who  took  the  voyage  to  the  East. 
But,  as  we  shall  see,  there  was  at  one  time  great  danger  lest 
the  Eastern  mission  should  be  abandoned  altogether,  as  far  as 
Francis  and  his  companions  were  concerned.  All  of  the  first 
disciples  of  Ignatius  seem  to  have  been  endowed  in  some  high 
degree  with  that  charming  attractiveness  which  is  one  of  the 
prerogatives  of  great  holiness,  and  which  sometimes  is  imparted 
in  a  measure  even  to  those  who  have  had  much  intercourse 
with  men  who  have  the  gift  in  its  perfection.  Certainly  of  all 
these  Francis  Xavier  and  Simon  Rodriguez  were  not  the  least 
likely  pair  to  win  to  themselves  the  hearts  of  those  among 
whom  they  moved.  Their  manner  of  life  was  humble  and 
morticed.  They  lodged  in  the  Hospital,  though  an  apartment 
had  been  prepared  for  them  in  the  Palace,  and  they  lived  on 
alms  which  they  collected  for  themselves  daily.  After  a  time, 
however,  their  spiritual  labours  increased  so  much  and  re- 
quired so  much  time,  that  they  judged  it  expedient  to  beg 
alms  only  once  or  twice  a  week,  as  an  exercise  of  humility  and 
mortification,  and  they  lived  on  the  food  sent  to  them  from  the 
Palace,  or  rather  on  a  portion  of  it.  The  rest  they  gave  to  the 
poor.  Shortly  after  their  arrival,  the  prisoners  of  the  Inquisi- 
tion were  placed  under  their  spiritual  charge  by  the  Cardinal, 
Don  Henry.  Their  conversation  and  character  drew  all  to 
them,  and  the  King  began  to  consider  that  they  might  do  less 
good  in  the  distant  East  than  in  the  capital  of  his  own  States. 
The  question  thus  raised  is  mentioned  in  the  following  letter, 
written  before  the  end  of  July,  about  three  weeks  after  the 
preceding.  We  shall  see  that  Francis,  even  after  so  short  an 
interval,  speaks  much  more  moderately  as  to  his  hopes  of  com- 
panions for  India. 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  y.^ 

(iv.)   To  the  Father  Master  Ignatius  of  Loyola. 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  Christ  our  Lord  ever  help  and 
favour  us !     Amen. 

After  I  had  written  the  other  day  at  great  length  about 
affairs  here,  certain  points  have  occurred  to  me  which  I  then 
omitted.  Here  are  some.  If  the  Brief  which  concerns  the 
whole  Society  is  as  yet  published,  send  us,  I  beseech  you,  a 
copy.  The  King  and  all  our  friends  in  Portugal  will  be  glad 
to  see  it,  as  well  as  the  sentence  of  the  Governor  of  Rome, 
when  we  were  declared  innocent.  The  King  has  asked  for  the 
book  of  the  Exercises,  wishing  to  see  it.  If  you  think  proper 
to  send  us  also  one  of  the  corrected  copies,  it  would  give  his 
Highness  much  pleasure.  This  great  Prince  is,  in  fact,  wonder- 
fully well  disposed  towards  the  whole  Society,  and  it  seems 
as  if  nothing  that  we  can  do  for  him  would  be  too  much  in  the 
way  of  gratitude  for  the  singular  and  very  great  love  which  he 
bears  us.  I  have  received  two  letters  from  you,  both  very 
short :  one  dated  the  8th  June,  the  other  the  ist  May.  It  will 
gratify  my  Lord  Ambassador  very  much  to  receive  a  letter  from 
you.  You  would  hardly  believe  how  carefully  he  keeps  that 
one  which  you  did  write  to  him,  and  which  he  received  on  our 
journey  from  Rome  into  Portugal;  he  preserves  it  with  the 
greatest  care.  If  you  cannot  write  to  him  yourself,  manage  at 
least  that  the  letters  which  we  receive  from  Strada  may  be  such 
as  we  can  show  him. 

At  this  moment  we  are  preparing  to  give  the  Exercises  to 
two  licentiates  in  theology,  one  of  whom  is  a  very  famous 
preacher,  and  the  other  preceptor  to  the  King's  brother,  the 
Infant,  Don  Henry.  We  are  striving  also  to  make  other  per- 
sons of  distinction  desire  to  have  them,  for  we  are  convinced 
that  the  more  earnestly  they  wish  for  them  the  more  abundant 
fruit  will  they  reap  from  them.  There  is  really  great  reason 
for  praising  God  our  Lord,  when  we  see  the  number  of  persons 
here  who  frequent  the  sacraments  of  penance  and  holy  com- 

74  *5/.  Francis  Xavier. 

Determine  what  you  think  best  to  do  with  Francis  Strada, 
whether  you  will  like  to  send  him  to  the  University  of  Coimbra. 
In  that  University  neither  he  nor  others  will  want  the  resources 
necessary  for  their  studies,  if  we  may  judge  from  the  fact  that 
people  there  are  very  well  inclined  to  all  that  is  pious  and 
good.  Hence  we  do  not  doubt  that  before  long  some  kind 
of  a  College  of  ours  will  be  founded  in  that  University.  When 
an  opportunity  offers  we  shall  not  fail  to  treat  with  the  King 
about  getting  up  a  College  of  Students  :  but  for  this  we  shall 
want  to  be  told  what  your  mind  is  as  to  the  form  of  such  an 
establishment,  and  the  method  of  life  to  be  followed  in  it,  the 
person  who  is  to  rule  the  community,  and  the  discipline  under 
which  the  members  are  to  live,  in  order  that  they  may  grow  in 
spirit  more  than  in  letters  J  ^  We  want  this,  that  when  we  speak 
with  the  King,  we  may  explain  to  him  the  kind  of  life  which 
is  to  be  led  by  those  who  study  in  our  Colleges.  On  all  this 
subject,  then,  I  wish  very  much  that  you  would  write  at  good 
length.  It  does  not  seem  as  if  anything  would  prevent  our 
having  a  house  built  there  for  receiving  our  Masters  and  Scho- 
lars, or  indeed  other  houses  of  our  Institute.  People  here 
would  very  willingly  build  houses  for  us,  if  there  were  any  per- 
sons to  inhabit  them. 

Our  friend,  the  Bishop,  has  told  us  that  the  King  has  not 
yet  made  up  his  mind  whether  he  will  send  us  to  India,  because 
he  thinks  we  should  serve  our  Lord  as  well  in  Portugal  as  there; 
but  two  Bishops,  who  judge  differently,  have  urged  that  we 
ought  on  no  account  to  be  kept  here,  but  by  all  means  be  sent 
to  India,  because  they  think  that  in  that  case  some  Indian 
King  will  be  converted.  We  keep  ourselves  intent  upon  ag- 
gregating companions,  and  I  think,  as  things  become  gradu- 
ally more  clear  and  definite,  we  shall  not  fail  to  find  some. 
If  we  remain  here,  we  shall  found  several  houses.  It  will  be 
easier  to  find  people  who  will  join  us  to  remain  in  this  coun- 
try, than  to  go  to  India ;  but  if  we  go  there,  and  if  God  our 
Lord  grant  us  some  years  of  life,  we  will  found  with  His  help 
some  houses  in  India  and  Ethiopia. 

11  tU  crescant  magis  in  spiritu  quam  in  Uteris.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  ys 

If  the  Brief  about  our  whole  Society  is  not  yet  issued,  at 
any  rate  I  entreat  you  to  see  that  we  have  powers  granted  us 
to  found  houses  of  the  Institute  among  the  heathen.  But 
whether  we  are  to  remain  estabhshed  here  or  to  sail  for  India, 
I  beg  of  you,  for  the  sake  of  the  love  and  service  of  God  our 
Lord,  to  write  to  us  the  method  and  order  which  we  should 
observe  in  receiving  new  members  into  our  Society,  and  to  ■ 
do  this  iniiltum  ad  longum^  for  you  know  well  enough  how  very 
little  cleverness  we  have ;  so  that  if  you  don't  help  us,  an  occa- 
sion of  promoting  the  greater  service  of  our  Lord  God  may  be 
lost  on  account  of  our  want  of  experience  in  managing  such 
business.     Farewell. 

Your  holy  Charity's  least  son  in  Christ, 


Lisbon,  July  26,  1540. 

It  is  in  such  private  letters  as  this  last— for  the  former  must 
have  been  meant  to  be  passed  from  hand  to  hand — that  the 
beautiful  humility  and  self-diffidence  of  Francis  Xavier  most 
frequently  break  out,  especially  when  he  is  addressing  his  most 
tenderly  loved  father,  Ignatius.  The  mention  of  the  University 
of  Coimbra  in  this  letter  shows  us  that  the  mind  of  Francis 
was  much  occupied  with  the  desire  of  seeing  the  Society  per- 
manently established  in  the  great  seat  of  learning  in  Portugal. 
The  Constitutions  of  the  Society  were,  of  course,  not  yet  in  ex- 
istence, and  there  was  the  greatest  need  of  some  definite  plan 
on  which  such  foundations  as  that  contemplated  in  the  letter 
should  be  framed.  Francis  had  an  uncle  at  Coimbra,  the  cele 
brated  Master  of  Azpilqueta,  called  Navarrus,  or  the  Doctor  of 
Navarre.  He  appears  to  have  earnestly  desired  to  see  Francis, 
and  even  to  have  requested  the  King  to  send  him  to  Coimbra. 
He  offered  to  give  two  courses  of  lectures  more  than  he  was 
obliged  to  give  if  the  King  would  consent,  and  at  a  later  time 
offered  himself  to  go  to  India,  but  Francis  told  him  that  a  man 
of  his  age  and  acquirements  was  better  employed  at  home.  We 
have  two  letters  from  Francis  to  Doctor  Martin,  which  may  be 
here  inserted. 

7  6  S/,  Francis  Xavier. 

(v.)   To  the  very  Reverend  my  Lord  the  Doctor  of 
Azpilqueta^  at  Coimbra. 

Very  Reverend  Sir, 

Since  I  have  been  in  this  city,  I  have  received  two 
letters  from  you  full  of  tenderness  and  charity  towards  me.^- 
May  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  love  of  Whom  moved  you  to 
write  to  me,  reward  you  duly  for  your  so  great  kindness  !  lor  I, 
wish  it  as  much  as  I  may,  am  unable  to  discharge  the  debt  for 
myself,  or  to  answer  as  I  ought  to  your  extreme  benevolence 
to  one  so  unworthy  and  so  poor.  So  I  must  acknowledge  and 
confess  my  inability  in  this  respect,  and  understanding  as  I 
do  by  the  mercy  of  God,^^  Whose  singular  gift  it  is  that  we 
know  ourselves,  how  useless  I  am  for  everything  good,'*  I  shall 
make  some  little  effort,  such  as  I  may,  to  discharge  this  duty, 
and  then  I  have  determined  to  place  all  my  hope  and  con- 
fidence in  God,  seeing  that  I  am  unable  to  return  to  any  one 
favour  for  favour  in  equal  measure,  and  in  truth  I  find  great 
consolation  in  the  thought  that  God  is  able  to  return  to  that 
holy  soul  of  yours  and  to  others  like  you  a  most  abundant 
recompense  on  my  behalf'^ 

With  regard  to  the  wish  that  you  manifest  of  knowing  of 
my  affairs,  and  especially  of  my  rule  of  life,i6  it  would  be  a  great 
joy  to  me  if  we  could  have  an  opportunity  of  meeting,  for  no 
one  could  be  readier  than  I  am  to  tell  you  with  the  utmost  ful- 
ness all  that  you  desire  to  know  in  this  respect.  And  I  am  not 
without  hope  that  God  our  Lord,  among  the  many  favours  with 
which  His  Divine  Majesty  most  indulgently  and  mercifully 
loads  me  day  by  day,  may  .add  also  this  very  special  grace  to 

12  amoris  ac  pietatis  erga  me  flenas.  (Oiig.) 

13  per  Dei  clementiam.   (Orig.) 

1-1  guatn  iiiutilis  ad  ovinia  sim.  (Orig.) 

15  This  is  in  Latin  in  the  original :  studui  spent  omnem  etfiduciam  meant 
in  Deo  f  oner e,  videns  me  nemini  posse  cequam  gratiam  referre ;  et  hoc  me plu- 
rimum  solatur,  quod potetis  est  Deus  sanctcs  anifncs  tucs  et  similibus  retributi' 
onem  a?nplissimampro  me  dare. 

1^  et prcesertim  de  mece  vitce  instituto.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  77 

all  the  rest,  that  I  may  see  you  for  once  in  this  life  and  talk 
with  you  at  leisure,  before  my  companion  and  I  set  sail  for  the 
Indies.  There  will  be  time  for  me  to  give  you  the  most  ample 
account  of  all  things  as  to  which  you  question  me  in  your  let- 
ter. There  is  too  much  of  them  for  me  to  do  it  conveniently 
in  writing.  You  add,  that  people  talk  a  great  deal,  as  men 
will  talk,  about  our  Institute.  As  to  this,  for  the  present  I 
will  only  answer.  It  matters  little,  most  excellent  Doctor,  how 
we  are  judged  of  by  men,  and  especially  by  men  who  judge  of 
matters  before  they  understand  them.^^ 

Bias  Lopez,  who  will  give  you  this  letter  from  me,  wishes 
earnestly  to  place  himself  under  your  patronage  and  teaching. 
I  love  him  very  much,  and  he  in  return  has  a  singular  love 
for  me,  and  for  the  sake  of  this  bond  between  us,  I  beg  of  you 
to  be  good  enough,  if  prayer  of  mine  have  any  power  with 
you — and  so  great  is  your  goodness,  that  I  know  my  prayers 
have  no  little  such  poweri^— accept  kindly,  as  from  me  and  on 
my  recommendation,  the  great  devotion  which  he  offers  you, 
wishing  above  all  things  to  serve  you  as  his  good  Patron,  and 
to  place  himself  under  your  teaching  as  a  Master.  So,  I  pray 
you,  put  him  down  as  one  of  your  own  people,  in  which,  be- 
sides that  you  will  do,  as  I  hope,  a  thing  pleasing  to  our  Lord 
God,  you  will  also  confer  a  singular  favour  on  me.  I  shall 
indeed  be  obliged  to  you,  as  for  a  great  and  peculiar  favour, 
if  you  will  have  the  condescension  to  take  charge  of  this 
good  youth  and  to  direct  and  help  him  in  his  studies.  His 
intention  and  desire  is  to  devote  his  youth  to  the  careful  study 
of  those  branches  of  learning  in  which  you  excel  so  much. 
You  may  well  consider  how  much  you  owe  to  God,  Who  has 
enriched  you  with  that  rare  talent  of  great  learning — not 
certainly  for  your  own  benefit  alone,  but  that  you  may  be  of 
assistance  to  many  others  besides  yourself.     But  may  God  our 

17  Here  also  the  original  has  the  Latin  sentences  :  multa  fro  hominum  coft- 
suetudine  de  nostra  Instituto  did — and  again,  i)arum  refer t,  Doctor  egregie, 
ab  hominibus  judicari,  prcesertim  ab  its  qui  priiis  judicant  qudm  intelliga7tf. 

■18  The  original  inserts  the  Latin  words  :  si  preces  niece  apud  te  quidpiam 
possunt  (possunt  atctem  mult um  per  iuam  humajiitatem). 

yS  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

Lord  have  us  both  aUke  and  always  in  His  holy  keeping  ! 

Your  servant  in  Christ,  while  he  lives,^9 

Francis  Xavier. 

Lisbon,  Sept.  28,  1540. 

(vi.)   To  the  Doctor  Martin  of  Azpilqueta, 

The  letter  which  you  wrote  to  me  on  the  15th  of  October 
has  caused  me  so  much  joy  and  consolation,  that  I  find  no- 
thing gives  me  so  much  refreshment  as  to  read  it  over,  after 
having  longed  for  it  no  very  short  time.^o  It  lets  me  see  all 
the  piety  that  animates  those  holy  labours  and  occupations  in 
which  you  spend  your  time;  for  a  work  of  great  piety  indeed 
it  is  to  instruct  in  learning  those  who  desire  learning  only  for 
the  sake  of  giving  themselves  wholly  and  singly  to  the  service 
of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord.  And  so  I  do  not  feel  that  pity  for 
your  Reverence  which  I  really  should  feel  if  I  thought  that 
you  did  not  use,  as  a  faithful  servant  should  use  them,  those 
very  excellent  gifts  with  which  it  has  pleased  Christ  our  Lord 
to  adorn  you,  for  I  am  quite  sure  that,  however  great  and 
fatiguing  may  have  been  the  toil  by  which  the  prize  is  won, 
very  far  greater  will  be  the  prize  itself,  when  one  who  has 
been  faithful  in  little  shall  be  set  over  many  things.-^  And  if 
just  at  present  you  have  to  exert  yourself  particularly  in  giv- 
ing a  lecture  or  two  more  than  is  your  wont,  yet,  after  all,  you 
ought  to  find  fresh  strength  for  this,  so  as  to  do  it  with  the 
utmost  willingness,  in  the  thought  that  there  may  have  been 
times  when  you  have  been  less  industrious  than  the  excellent 
talent  given  you  by  God  might  require.  And  we  certainly, 
who  rejoice  in  all  that  is  good  for  you,  are  delighted  to  see 
you  work  off  old  obligations  in  this  way  yourself,  rather  than 
leave  them  to  be  discharged  by  those  who  are  to  come  after 
you.     For  there  are  many  who  suffer  punishment  in  the  next 

19  Tims  hi  Chrisio,  quoadusque  vixerit.  (Orig.) 

20  a  me  per  multos  jam  dies  optata.  (Orig.) 

21  quando  super  multa  erit  constUutus,  qui  in  modico  fuit fidelis.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  79 

world  because  they  have  trusted  more  than  was  right  to  the 
executors  of  their  wills,  and  in  this  way  it  is  a  terrible  thing 
to  fall  into  the  Hands  of  the  Living  God,  and  most  especially 
in  giving  an  account  of  our  stewardship.^^ 

May  God,  Who  has  so  liberally  given  you  such  an  abund- 
ance of  learning  that  you  have  plenty  to  give  to  others,  make 
you  equally  liberal  in  imparting  it  to  those  who  desire  only  to 
know  how  to  serve  the  Creator  and  Lord  of  all,  setting  before 
your  eyes  the  glory  of  God  and  the  increase  thereof !  Most 
certainly  the  Lord  of  all  law  and  justice  will  grant  to  us  that, 
if  in  this  life  we  have  been  companions  in  His  sufferings,  in 
the  next  we  shall  be  companions  in  consolation.  So  it  will  in- 
fallibly be,  most  excellent  Doctor.23  I  won't  say  more  at  pre- 
sent, putting  it  off  till  the  day  when  I  may  talk  to  you  face  to 
face.  That  day  will  come,  though  you  do  not  think  it  will. 
That  special  love  to  me,  which  your  letter  shows  me,  makes 
it  impossible  that  I  should  refuse  to  do  as  you  wish  in  this 
matter.  As  for  the  love  I  bear  to  you,  I  say  nothing  of  it. 
Our  Lord,  Who  sees  to  the  very  bottom  of  the  hearts  of  both 
of  us,  knows  how  dear  you  are  to  mine.  Adieu,  excellent 
Doctor,  and  keep  me  in  your  wonted  love.^* 

Your  humble  servant  in  Christ, 

Francis  Xavier. 

Lisbon,  November  4,  1540. 

We  have  no  record  of  the  meeting  between  uncle  and 
nephew  of  which  this  last  letter  speaks  as  probable.  Master 
Azpilqueta  mentions  that  Francis  wrote  to  him  at  his  departure, 
in  answer  to  his  offer  to  go  to  India  himself,  comforting  him 
for  their  separation  with  the  hope  of  a  speedy  meeting  in  the 
Kingdom  of  Heaven.  Neither  have  we  any  more  detailed 
account  of  the  Hfe  of  Francis  in  Lisbon  during  the  remainder 

22  et  ideo  horrendum  est  incidere  in  manus  Dei  viventis,  frcescrtim  in  red' 
dendd  vilUcationis  ratione.  (Orig.) 

23  dab  it  Dominus  juris  [et  itafiet,  Doctor  egrcgie)  ut  in  alid  vitd  socii  con- 
solationum  simus,  si  in  hac  fueritmis passionum  comiies.  (Orig.) 

^-i  Ego  vera  meum  erga  te  amoris  vinculum  taceo:  Dominus  novit,  qui  am- 
borum  mentem  solus  ipse  rimat,  quam  mihi  sis  intimus  corde.  Vale,  Doctor 
c^regie,  et  7ne,  ut  soles,  ama.  (Orig.) 

8o  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

of  the  year  1540,  except  such  as  is  contained  in  the  next  hasty 
letter  in  our  series,  written  some  weeks  earlier  than  the  last 
to  Dr.  Azpilqueta.  It  appears  that  there  was  still  some  hesi- 
tation entertained  by  the  Pope  as  to  the  Society,  and  that 
Ignatius  had  asked  Francis  to  induce  the  King  of  Portugal  to 
exert  his  influence  for  the  furtherance  of  their  interests.  Igna- 
tius had  as  yet  not  been  able  to  give  a  distinct  answer  to  the 
College  at  Coimbra. 

(vii.)   To  the  Father  Master  Ignatius  of  Loyola  and 
Peter  Codacio^  at  B^ome. 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help 
and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

The  courier  is  ready  to  start  and  in  a  great  hurry,  and  we 
are  obliged  to  write  these  few  lines  as  fast  as  we  can.  We  can 
just  tell  you  we  are  well,  and  are  increasing.  We  are  now  six 
here,  all  acquaintances  in  old  days  in  Paris,  except  two.  Fathers 
Paul  and  Emanuel  a  Sancta  Clara.  Thus  has  it  pleased  our 
Lord  to  prosper  our  desires  and  exertions,  by  giving  us  these 
fellow  labourers  with  us  for  the  purpose  of  making  His  name 
great  among  the  nations  who  know  Him  not. 

We  attribute  the  fruit  which  we  here  reap  from  our  minis- 
trations to  the  favour  of  God  which  you  at  Rome  gain  for  us. 
This  fruit  hx  surpasses  our  capacity,  learning  or  intelligence. 
Such  numbers  of  persons,  and  persons  01  the  highest  rank, 
come  to  us  to  open  their  consciences  in  holy  coniession,  that 
we  have  not  time  enough  to  satisfy  them  all.  The  Prince  Don 
Henry,  Grand  Inquisitor  of  the  Kingdom,  and  the  King's  bro- 
ther, has  often  urged  on  us  to  take  spiritual  charge  Ox  the  per- 
sons in  the  prisons  01  the  Holy  Inquisition.  We  visit  them 
every  day,  and  apply  ourselves  to  make  them  understand  how 
great  a  favour  God  has  done  them  in  placing  them  in  this 
school  of  penance.  Once  a  day  we  give  them  all  together  an 
exhortation,  and  we  also  give  them  the  Exercises  oi  the  first 
weeks,  to  their  great  comfort  and  advantage.     A  large  number 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  81 

of  them  tell  us  that  they  acknow  ledge  it  as  a  singular  favour 
of  God  that  they  now  hear  as  thty  do  from  us,  what  they  have 
never  heard  before,  so  many  truths,  the  knowledge  of  which  is 
necessary  for  their  salvation. 

A  few  days  ago  we  sent  you  letters  from  the  King  to  the 
Holy  Father  and  to  his  ambassador  at  Rome,  in  which  he 
recommends  the  interests  of  our  Society  as  if  they  were  his 
own.  To  obtain  recommendations  of  this  kind  from  the  Court 
here  we  have  no  longer  need  of  any  third  person,  we  can  do 
it  all  ourselves.  And  now  too,  if  the  King  were  not  in  great 
grief  on  account  of  the  death  of  Prince  Edward,  he  would  have 
written  again  to  his  Holiness  and  to  the  Cardinal  of  the  Quattro 
Coronati,  as  well  as  to  other  persons  at  Rome  whose  favour 
may  be  necessary  or  useful  for  our  interests.  But  he  is,  as  I 
say,  so  overwhelmed  with  grief,  and  so  struck  down  by  the 
death  of  the  Prince  his  brother,-^  that  he  is  shut  up  at  home 
and  receives  no  one.  All  business  is  suspended  by  this  sad 
grief.  We  must  allow  a  certain  respite  to  such  affectionate 
sorrow.  In  a  few  days,  after  the  keenest  pangs  are  past,  we 
will  obtain  as  many  letters  as  you  can  wish  to  whoever  you 
may  name  from  this  excellent  King. 

We  have  here  living  in  community  with  us  a  person  who 
has  finished  his  course  at  Paris.  Master  Gonsalvo  Medeiros 
is  his  name ;  he  is  not  yet  in  orders.  We  beg  of  you  from  the 
service  of  our  Lord  God  to  "obtain  and  send  here  a  rescript  of 
the  Pope,  by  virtue  of  which  he  may  be  ordained  extra  consiieta 
te?npora,  and  may  receive  the  sacred  orders  on  three  successive 
feasts,  so  that  he  may  be  ordained  priest  before  we  sail  for 
India.26  It  might  be  necessary  also  that  the  privilege  should 
be  obtained,  to  be  communicated  to  six  clerics  at  our  choice, 
of  using  the  new  Breviary.27     This  might  be  of  some  use  in 

25  This  brother  was  the  Infant  Edward,  Duke  of  Guimaraens,  the  sixth  son 
of  Emanuel  the  Fortunate.  He  had  two  daughters,  one  o.  whom  married  the 
Duke  01  Braganza,  whose  grandson  succeeded  to  the  throne  in  1640  as  John  IV., 
on  the  revolution  which  overthrew  the  Spanish  domination  in  Portugal. 

^(5  This  Father,  however,  remained  in  Portugal  with  Simon  Rodriguez. 

27  This  must  have  been  the  short  Breviary  ai'ranged  by  Cardinal  Quignon  in 

VOL.  I.  G 

82  5/.  Francis  Xavier. 

more  readily  inducing  some  to  be  willing  to  follow  us  to  India. 
We  conjure  you,  by  the  love  of  our  Lord,  to  get  the  Brief 
under  which  we  are  to  be  sent  to  India  forwarded  to  us  as 
quickly  as  possible.  The  time  for  setting  out  is  coming  near. 
We  have  great  hopes  of  plentiful  fruit  to  follow  from  our  voyage. 
Let  us  know,  we  beseech  you,  as  soon  as  possible,  how  we 
are  to  arrange  as  to  those  who  have  either  been  to  Paris  for 
their  studies,  or  are  going  there.  Give  us  also  a  clear  answer 
as  to  what  I  wrote  about  Strada,  and  touching  the  plan  of 
founding  a  house  for  our  students  in  the  University  of  Coim- 
braj  for  we  can  depend  for  this  work  and  other  pious  works  of 
the  same  sort  upon  the  favour  of  the  Princes  and  the  liberal- 
ity of  rich  men  here.  Let  us  know  therefore  at  once  what 
you  have  settled  upon  as  to  this,  that  according  to  what  you 
may  command  we  may  endeavour  to  carry  into  effect  what 
shall  seem  to  be  most  expedient  for  the  glory  of  God.^^  The 
man  is  snatching  this  out  of  my  hands,  reproaching  me  for 
keeping  him  so  long.  So  what  I  have  thus  far  written  is  to 
do  duty  for  a  letter  of  Master  Simon  as  well  as  of  my  own ; 
and  he  shall  put  his  signature  in  the  name  of  both  of  us,  which 
is  to  stand  for  the  seal. 

In  the  name  of  both  of  us, 

Master  Simon. 

Lisbon,  October  12th,  1540. 

Before  this  letter  was  written,  all  doubt  as  to  the  Institute 
of  the  Society  was  removed  by  its  confirmation  by  Paul  III. 
on  the  27th  of  September.  A  great  number  of  masses  and 
prayers  had  been  offered  by  Ignatius  and  his  brethren  for  the 
influential  persons  who  opposed  the  approbation  which  the 
Pope  was  inclined  to  give,  and  these  had  their  effect  in  the 
wonderful  conversion  of  Cardinal  Guidiccioni  to  the  cause  of  the 
Society.  He  was  a  man  of  much  weight  from  his  learning  and 
virtue,  and  had  formed  one  of  a  commission  a  year  or  two  be- 
fore, ordered  to  examine  into  the  abuses  of  the  clergy,  which  had 
reported  to  the  Pope  that  great  scandals  existed  in  monastic 

23  magis  expedire  ad  laudeni  Doinmi,  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  83 

houses.  He  was  known  to  be  strongly  bent  against  the  founda- 
tion of  any  new  orders.  Indeed,  that  commission  had  actually 
proposed  to  the  Pope  to  extinguish  all  the  orders  by  forbidding 
them  to  receive  novices ;  after  they  had  died  out,  a  new  gene- 
ration might  revive  the  primitive  fervour.  Guidiccioni  had 
been  appointed  by  the  Pope  one  of  the  three  Cardinals  who 
were  to  examine  the  proposed  plan  of  the  Society;  and  St.  Igna- 
tius and  his  companions  met  his  opposition  by  prayer.  He 
would  not  at  first  look  at  the  papers :  but  after  a  time  he  de- 
sired that  they  should  be  read  to  him,  and  then  approved  them 
entirely.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  wonderful  change 
in  so  important  an  opponent  must  have  helped  on  the  approval 
of  the  rule  in  a  singular  manner.  The  bull  Regi7nini  milita?itis 
EccksicB,  which  gives  a  succinct  account  of  the  principles  and 
objects  of  the  Society,  was,  as  we  have  said,  not  published  till 
the  April  of  1541,  just  about  the  time  of  Francis  Xavier's  de- 
parture for  the  Indies  from  Lisbon.  The  only  restriction  placed 
upon  the  Society  in  this  bull,  a  restriction  afterwards  removed 
in  1543,  was  that  which  limited  the  number  of  its  professed 
members  to  sixty. 

In  the  course  of  the  autumn,  however,  the  floating  notions 
as  to  the  retention  of  the  two  Fathers  in  Portugal,  already  briefly 
mentioned,  took  the  form  of  serious  negotiations,  set  on  foot 
between  the  Courts  of  Portugal  and  Rome,  which  at  one  time 
seemed  to  threaten  to  prevent  the  enterprise  on  which  our 
Saint's  heart  was  now  set.  The  great  good  done  by  the  two 
companions  in  the  Court  and  country  of  Portugal  suggested 
naturally  enough  the  idea  that  they  should  be  retained  there, 
and  that  other  less  distinguished  missionaries  might  be  sent 
to  the  Indies.  Few  words  of  our  Blessed  Lord  have  been 
more  constantly  and  uniformly  fulfilled  in  the  history  of  the 
Church  than  those  in  which  He  declared  that  the  harvest  was 
plenteous,  but  the  labourers  itw :  and  now  that  the  King  of 
Portugal  had  come  to  know  the  value  of  the  two  labourers 
whom  he  had  obtained  from  Ignatius,  it  is  not  wonderful 
that  he  should  have  felt  a  scruple  as  to  depriving  himself, 
his  capital,  and  the  whole  country  over  which  he  reigned,  of 

84  Si,  Frajicis  Xavier. 

spiritual  advantages  so  singularly  great  It  was  a  time  when 
no  country  in  Christendom  was  well  furnished  with  learned 
preachers,  and  even  where  the  priesthood  was  in  its  best  state 
it  is  probable  that  the  number  of  priests  who  devoted  them- 
selves unremittingly  to  the  more  active  duties  of  their  calling 
was  comparatively  small.  We  have  seen  that  even  in  Rome, 
when  the  companions  of  Ignatius  began  to  preach,  it  was  an 
unheard-of  thing  for  a  sermon  to  be  given  out  of  the  more 
sacred  seasons  of  Advent  and  Lent.  To  all  who  had  the  good 
of  the  people  at  heart,  such  workers  as  Francis  and  Simon 
were  very  precious.  The  question  was  argued  in  the  Royal 
Council,  and  although  the  Cardinal  Don  Henry  advocated  the 
cause  of  the  Indies  with  much  earnestness,  he  was  overruled, 
and  a  proposal  was  sent  to  Rome  that  the  King  should  be  au- 
thorized to  retain  Francis  and  Simon  Rodriguez  for  the  benefit 
of  his  subjects  at  home.  It  was  a  delicate  thing  then  for  the 
Pope  or  for  Ignatius  to  refuse.  The  King  had  conferred  very 
singular  benefits  on  the  Society.  The  mere  fact  of  his  coming 
forward  unsolicited,  the  first  of  all  Catholic  Princes,  to  ask 
for  several  members  of  the  new  Order — not  as  yet  sanctioned 
by  the  Pope — must  have  had  much  weight  at  Rome,  even 
with  the  Pope  himself,  in  favour  of  the  Society,  and  he  had 
at  the  same  time,  both  by  his  ambassador  and  by  his  own 
letters,  pleaded  its  cause  directly  and  urgently.  At  the  mo- 
ment, he  was  the  most  powerful  and  valuable  friend  whom  it 
possessed,  and  Ignatius  was  a  man  deeply  and  tenderly  alive 
to  the  feeling  of  gratitude.  He  managed  the  affair,  however, 
with  his  usual  consummate  prudence.  The  Pope  gave  it  as 
his  opinion  that  the  two  Fathers  should  be  placed  at  the  ab- 
solute disposal  of  the  King,  and  letters  to  this  effect  were 
written  from  Rome.  But  Ignatius  also  sent  a  letter — it  does 
not  seem  certain  whether  to  Mascarenas,  the  former  Ambas- 
sador, or  to  the  Fathers  themselves — saying  that  if  the  King 
wished  to  know  his  private  opinion,  he  had  thought  of  a  middle 
course:  that  of  sending  Francis  Xavier  to  the  Indies,  while 
Simon  Rodriguez  remained  in  Portugal,  where  he  might  be 
useful  to  the  mission  as  well  as  to  the  kingdom  itself  by  pro- 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  85 

viding  a  seminary  from  which  future  missionaries  might  pro- 
ceed to  the  East.  This  proposal  was  agreed  to,  and  the  de- 
cision was  announced  to  Francis  Xavier  by  the  King  himself. 

As  the  time  for  sailing  drew  on,  in  the  spring  of  1541, 
John  III.  showed  himself  full  of  interest  in  the  Society,  and 
desirous  to  provide  in  every  possible  way  for  the  success  of 
the  Indian  mission  and  for  the  comfort  of  Francis  and  his 
companions.  These  were  now  reduced  to  two — two  out  of 
all  the  number  on  whom  Francis  had  reckoned,  and  who  had 
in  various  ways,  as  we  see  from  the  letters,  offered  their  aid. 
His  disappointment  was  very  great,  and  we  may  observe  how 
he  feeds  himself  in  the  remaining  letters  written  during  this 
period  on  the  hope  of  a  speedy  and  numerous  reinforcement. 
During  the  whole  of  his  after  career,  the  two  greatest  sorrows 
which  he  had  to  contend  with  were  the  hindrances  put  in  the 
way  of  the  Gospel  preaching  by  the  bad  and  tyrannical  con- 
duct of  the  Christian  traders  and  officers,  and,  in  the  second 
place,  the  poor  and  sometimes  very  troublesome  materials 
with  which  he  had  to  work  as  his  companions  and  subjects. 

But  we  need  not  anticipate  the  troubles  of  which  we  shall 
hear  enough  by  and  bye.  Only  one  of  Francis'  companions 
was  a  Priest,  Father  Paul  of  Camerino :  the  second  was  the 
Portuguese,  Francis  Mancias  by  name,  simple,  ignorant,  dull, 
not  yet  in  any  holy  orders,  and  with  literary  acquirements 
so  scanty  as  to  make  Francis  fear  very  much  that  he  would 
break  down  in  any  examination  to  which  he  might  be  sub- 
jected as  a  condition  of  ordination.  It  is  perhaps  this  that 
made  him  willing  to  put  off  his  ordination  till  they  reached 
India,  where  it  was  probable  that  the  standard  of  learning  was 
not  very  high,  and  that  the  Bishop  might  not  be  very  particu- 
lar. Such  was  the  Httle  band  of  missionaries  destined  to  do  so 
much  among  the  poor  Indians  who  had  become  the  subjects 
of  the  Crown  of  Portugal. 

Francis  himself  was  laden  with  iavours  by  the  King.  John 
III.  had  procured  four  Briefs  from  the  Pope,  two  of  which 
gave  him  the  amplest  possible  spiritual  faculties  and  jurisdic- 
tion, appointing  him  moreover  the  Apostolic  Nuncio  in  the 

86  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

Indies.  The  other  two  Briefs  recommended  him  to  the  espe- 
cial care  and  protection  of  all  native  Princes  from  the  Cape 
of  Good  Hope  eastwards,  and  especially  to  the  Emperor  of 
Ethiopia,  of  whose  conversion  to  the  Catholic  faith  some 
hopes  were  now  entertained.  The  King  also  enjoined  on 
Francis  to  write  to  him  frequently  and  to  give  him  an  exact 
account  of  all  that  was  done  or  required  for  the  advancement 
of  religion.  Francis  was  to  sail  with  the  new  Governor  of  the 
Indies,  Don  Martin  Alfonso  de  Sousa,  of  whom  he  speaks  in 
the  highest  terms  in  the  letters  which  we  shall  presently  trans- 
late. This  officer  had  already  distinguished  himself  greatly 
in  the  Indies,  and  the  highest  expectations  were  formed  of  the 
success  of  his  new  government.  These  expectations  were  not 
altogether  fulfilled  in  the  event,  but  Sousa  was  an  upright,  hon- 
ourable man,  and  a  zealous  pious  Christian,  and  desirous  of 
showing  every  honour  in  his  power  to  the  missionaries  who  were 
to  accompany  him.  But  it  was  not  easy  to  overcome  Francis 
Xavier  where  his  humility  and  love  of  poverty  and  suffering 
were  concerned.  The  King  had  commanded  the  Conde  de 
'  Castafieras,  who  held  an  office  which  we  might  call  that  of 
Purveyor-General  for  the  Fleet,  to  provide  Francis  with  every- 
thing that  he  desired  for  the  voyage.  The  order  was  intimated 
to  Francis,  but  the  Conde  waited  in  vain  for  a  list  of  the  arti- 
cles which  he  was  to  provide.  Francis,  when  questioned,  said 
that  he  professed  religious  poverty  and  would  rely  only  on 
the  Providence  of  God.  He  could  only  be  induced  to  accept 
a  few  books  of  devotion  and  some  warmer  clothing  for  the 
storms  of  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope.  The  Purveyor  insisted — 
'at  least  he  would  have  a  servant  allotted  to  him?  It  would 
not  become  the  dignity  of  an  Apostolic  Nuncio  to  cook  his 
own  food  and  wash  his  own  linen?'  Then  it  was  that  St. 
Francis  gave  his  memorable  answer,  his  face  burning  with  in- 
dignation, that  as  long  as  God  gave  him  the  use  of  hands  and 
feet  no  one  should  wait  on  him  but  himself — that  there  was 
no  occupation  so  lowly  as  that  he  would  not  glory  in  it  in  the 
sight  of  the  whole  world,  that  he  would  never  fear  for  his 
dignity  unless  it  should  befal  him  to  incur  the  mark  of  sin, 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  87 

and  that  this  over  attention  to  human  wisdom,  which  was  so 
opposed  to  the  wisdom  of  God,  was  exactly  the  evil  which  had 
reduced  the  Church  to  so  lamentable  a  state. 

The  two  following  letters^,  written  on  the  same  day,  about 
three  weeks  before  his  embarkation,  give  us  a  picture  of  the 
warmth  of  his  affection  for  the  friends  he  was  never  to  see 
again,  his  love  for  the  Society,  and  his  sanguine  hopes  as  to  the 
success  of  the  mission  he  was  about  to  undertake. 

(viii.)   To  the  Society  at  Rome. 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help  and 
favour  us !    Amen. 

We  have  received  your  much  longed  for  letter,  and  it  has 
done  our  souls  all  that  good  which  happy  news  of  their  mo- 
ther ought  to  produce  in  the  souls  of  children.  We  learn 
from  it  the  healthy  and  flourishing  state  of  the  whole  Society, 
the  pious  and  holy  works  to  which  you  are  given  up  at  Rome, 
the  edifices,  spiritual  and  material,  that  you  are  founding 
and  building,  thus  providing  for  future  generations  as  well 
as  for  the  present,  that  both  may  be  well  furnished  with  the 
means  for  labouring  in  the  Lord's  vineyardj^y  and  may  be  able 
to  urge  on  and  carry  out  to  the  end  which  we  all  desire  that 
work  which  has  now  for  some  time  been  begun  with  so  great 
a  hope  of  giving  extraordinary  delight  to  our  Lord  God.  I 
pray  that  our  Lord  may  be  pleased  to  help  us  also — so  far 
absent  from  you  in  body  though  ever  with  you  in  heart,  and 
never  more  so  than  now'^o — that  we  may  imitate  you,  when  He 
has  shown  to  us  also  the  way  in  which  we  are  to  serve  Christ 
our  Lord. 

Now  as  to  what  may  be  good  for  you  to  know  of  matters 
here.  The  King,  who  greatly  approves  our  way  of  life  and 
conduct,  and  who,  from  his  experience  of  the  spiritual  fruits 
which  have  already  come  from  our  labours,  is  induced  to  hope 

29  subsidiis  ad  lahorandum  in  vined  Domini.  (Orig.) 

^^  absentes  tanVum  corpore,  licet  prcesentes  animo   tiunquam  tnagis  qudm 
nunc.  (Orig.) 

88  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

for  still  greater  advantage  to  souls  if  the  number  of  our  labour- 
ers be  increased,  has  determined  to  found  one  College  and  one 
House  of  ours,  that  is  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.  Three  of  us 
are  to  remain  here  for  these  foundations.  Master  Simon,  Mas- 
ter Gonsalez,  and  another  priest  well  learned  in  canon  law. 
Many  others  declare  themselves  day  by  day,  and  offer  to  enter 
the  Society.  This  project  of  his  Highness  to  build  these  two 
houses  is  no  crude  or  passing  idea,  he  is  strongly  bent  upon 
it.  For  some  time  back,  whenever  we  have  been  to  him,  he 
has,  of  his  own  accord,  declared  his  intention,  always  being 
the  first  to  introduce  the  matter,  without  any  suggestion  from 
us  or  from  any  friend,  whom  we  might  have  asked.  He  has 
come  into  the  plan  of  building  these  houses  altogether  of  his 
own  choice  and  judgment.  The  place  where  he  intends  to 
put  them  is  the  city  of  Evora.  I  believe  he  is  writing  to  the 
Pope  to  send  some  one  or  more  of  the  Society,  to  help  Mas- 
ter Simon  in  the  commencement.  I  must  say  that  this  good 
King,  in  his  very  great  affection  to  our  Society,  the  increase  of 
which  he  desires  as  if  he  were  one  of  ourselves,-^^  doing  all 
this  out  of  the  simple  motive  of  his  love  and  veneration  to 
our  Lord  God,  does  really  put  us  in  truth  under  a  very  strict 
obligation  of  professing  and  affording  to  him  unceasing  service 
for  the  sake  of  God.^^  Nothing  less  than  this  is  due  to  the 
thorough  beneficence  and  constant  good  will  which  he  has 
shown  us,  a  good  will  which  has  by  no  means  confined  itself 
within  the  limits  of  an  intention  which  costs  nothing,  but  which 
has  made  him,  without  being  asked,  and  with  the  utmost 
liberality,  sedulously  take  every  opportunity  of  deserving  prac- 
tically our  greatest  gratitude.  And  on  this  account,  if  we  were 
not  to  acknowledge  and  publicly  declare  how  much  we  owe 
to  him,  if  we  did  not,  by  daily  prayers  and  sacrifices,  do  what 
little  lies  in  our  poor  power  towards  trying  to  repay  the  very 
great  deserts  of  those  who  so  signally  distinguish  themselves 
before  God  by  helping  and  supporting  us  for  His  divine  ser- 
vice, we  should  really  contract  a  very  serious  fault,  and  should 
be  ignominiously  branded  with  the  foul  disgrace  of  extreme  in- 
^^  tanquam  unus  ex  nobis.  (Orig.)  ^' propter  Deum.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  89 

gratitude.  And  we  should  be  unworthy  of  hfe  itself,  if  any  day 
were  to  come  down  to  the  very  end  of  our  lives,  however  long 
tliey  may  be,  which  could  reproach  us  with  having  forgotten  to 
keep  in  mind  with  the  most  affectionate  and  grateful  service 
the  name  of  King  John  of  Portugal,  our  most  liberal  Patron 
and  Benefactor. 

Father  Paul,  another,  who  is  a  Portuguese,  and  myself, 
three  in  all,  are  to  sail  this  week  for  India.  We  are  full  of 
great  hopes,  trusting  in  the  merciful  help  of  God  our  Lord 
that  we  shall  there  bring  a  large  harvest  into  the  garners  of  the 
Church.  We  think  this  from  the  wonderful  things  that  we  are 
told  by  good  persons  who  have  been  eyewitnesses,  having  been 
many  years  in  India,  and  who  speak  of  the  very  favourable  dis- 
positions of  those  nations  to  listen  to  preachers  of  good,  and 
to  embrace  the  salvation  of  their  souls  when  it  is  offered  to 

The  King  sends  us  away  full  and  laden  with  favours  of 
every  kind  from  himself,  and  has  also  recommended  us  very 
particularly  to  the  Governor  whom  he  is  sending  this  year  to 
India.  We  are  to  sail  with  him  in  his  own  flagship.  He  has 
shown  us  much  kindness,  as  far  as  to  take  upon  himself  the 
care  of  everything  for  our  passage,  and  to  forbid  us  or  any  one 
else  to  trouble  himself  about  the  preparations,  or  equipment 
necessary  for  us  while  we  are  at  sea.  He  has  already  settled 
that  we  are  to  be  his  guests  at  table  every  day.  This  I  men- 
tion, not  so  much  to  show  off  whatever  honour  or  convenience 
for  us  this  implies,  as  if  we  took  pleasure  in  the  advantage  to 
ourselves, — which  we  would  certainly  rather  go  without, — but 
that  you  may  understand,  and  in  your  zeal  for  God's  glory  may 
rejoice  in,  the  good  ground  which  we  have  in  this  great  affec- 
tion for  us  on  the  part  of  the  supreme  Governor  of  the  Indies, 
for  hoping  for  great  assistance  from  him  towards  that  on  which 
our  whole  heart  is  set,  the  conversion  of  the  heathen  there, 
and  may  congratulate  us  on  the  favourable  opportunity  opened 
to  us,  of  carrying  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ  before  the  native 
Kings  of  India,  with  whom,  as  every  one  knows,  the  authority 
and  influence  of  the  Portuguese  Governor  is  supreme. 

go  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

Our  confidence  is  also  strengthened  by  what  we  gather, 
partly  from  our  own  observation,  partly  from  what  we  have 
been  able  up  to  this  time  to  learn  from  others,  of  the  senti- 
ments, conduct,  qualities,  and  aims  of  the  Governor  himself. 
In  the  first  place  he  has  great  experience  and  familiarity  with 
Indian  affairs,  and  has  spent  many  years  in  these  countries 
with  the  highest  reputation  for  integrity.  You  know  how  sharp 
and  keen  is  the  judgment  of  a  Court  as  to  the  lives  of  men, 
and  the  Court  here  is  agreed  that  he  is  a  man  of  the  highest 
virtue.  According  to  good  authorities,  he  is  believed  to  be 
very  much  wished  for  in  India,  both  by  our  own  people  and 
the  natives.  I  had  a  friendly  talk  with  him  the  day  before 
yesterday,  and  he  told  me  that  there  is  an  island  in  India 
peopled  solely  by  heathen,  without  any  mixture  of  Mahometans 
or  Jews,  and  he  added  that  he  hoped  there  for  great  and  speedy 
fruit  from  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel,  and  indeed,  when  he 
recollected  what  he  had  observed  when  there  as  to  the  direc- 
tion in  which  men's  minds  were  turned,  and  the  strength  of 
these  tendencies,  he  had  no  doubt  that  the  King  of  the  country 
himself,  and,  after  a  little,  the  whole  island  with  him,  would 
openly  embrace  the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ. 

The  ground  on  which  experienced  persons  of  this  sort 
think  they  may  argue  well  of  our  success  is,  that  they  have 
thoroughly  seen  and  approved  the  manner  of  our  Institute  and 
ministrations  of  which  they  have  had  satisfactory  specimens 
here ;  and  although  we  on  our  part  are  intimately  conscious  ot 
our  own  slender  stock  of  virtue  and  our  great  weakness,  never- 
theless we  think  that  all  these  good  wishes  and  auguries  will 
not  come  to  nothing,  for  we  are  animated  by  the  belief  that  God 
is  now  going  to  take  pity  on  the  miserable  blindness  of  all 
these  nations  who  live  destitute  of  all  helps  to  salvation,  and 
that  it  seems  as  if  He  would  therefore  make  merciful  use  of 
the  service  which  we,  however  weak  and  worthless  servants 
we  be,  are  most  ready  to  render,  that  those  nations  who  now 
know  not  God  and  worship  devils  instead  of  Him'^"'  may  be 
recalled  from  the  error  and  deplorable .  misery  in  which  they 
33  gentes  qucB  Deiini  ignorant  et  dcsmonia  colunt.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  91 

now  lie.  And,  to  lay  our  most  secret  thoughts  bare  to  you,  it 
is  only  on  this  foundation  of  the  hope  we  have  of  presumably 
very  powerful  and  efficacious  assistance  which  may  probably 
be  expected  from  God  that  our  whole  confidence  in  under- 
taking so  great  a  work  rests  and  is  supported,  and  it  is  this 
that  gives  us  courage  and  alacrity,  this  that  feeds  our  hopes  of 
a  happy  issue  to  our  exertions,  which  we  mean  to  strain  to  the 
utmost  to  give  help  to  those  most  unhappy  of  men,  to  draw 
them  to  a  true  knowledge  of  our  holy  faith  and  religion,  with 
no  motive  for  our  labours  but  to  show  love  and  do  service  to 
God  our  Lord,  \Vliom  we  hold  it  for  most  certain  that  we  shall 
please  and  serve  in  this  work  which  we  undertake. 

And  now  we  beseech  of  you  in  the  strongest  possible  man- 
ner, to  prepare  for  us  in  good  time  and  at  full  leisure  long  and 
very  particular  instructions,  which  may  be  forwarded  to  us  by 
the  ships  sailing  from  Lisbon  for  India  in  the  March  of  next 
year.  We  desire  and  most  humbly  beg  of  you  that  they  may 
contain  directions  written  at  full  length  by  you  and  descending 
to  all  particulars,  explaining  minutely,  what  we  are  to  do  there, 
how  we  are  to  do  it,  with  what  precautions,  and  what  rule  of 
life  and  method  of  working  we  are  to  follow  among  the  heathen. 
For  although  we  are  not  without  confidence  that  experience 
upon  the  spot  will  instruct  and  direct  us  to  some  extent  in  all 
this,  still  the  chief  hope  we  have  of  discerning  what  in  the 
whole  management  of  this  matter  is  most  pleasing  to  God, 
rests  upon  your  suggestions  and  advice.  We  are  persuaded 
that  our  Lord  will  inspire  and  guide  you  as  to  what  He  re- 
quires us  to  do,  and  to  what  extent,  and  that  He  will  deign 
to  declare  to  us  His  mind  and  the  good  pleasure  of  His  Heart, 
as  to  the  kind  and  manner  of  our  life  and  ministry,  by  means 
of  you  whom  He  has  hitherto  made  the  interpreters  of  His 
will  to  us.  And  what  moves  me^*  again  and  again,  and  with 
all  the  urgency  that  you  see,  to  beg  this  of  you,  is  the  fear  that 
I  have  lest  that  should  happen  to  us  which  so  frequently  hap- 
pens to  many  in  such  positions  to  their  very  great  hurt.  I 
mean  that,  either  by  some  negligence  in  considering  and  ex- 
34  The  change  of  number  to  the  singular  is  in  the  original. 

9  2  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

amining  all  the  circumstances  of  place,  business,  or  of  duties  in 
which  they  find  themselves,  or  again,  from  some  pride  which 
makes  them  trust  themselves  too  much,  and  so  not  condescend 
to  consult  others  in  doubtful  matters,  and  to  follow  the  coun- 
sels of  men  wiser  than  themselves,  they  displease  God,  and 
are  deservedly  punished  by  being  deprived  by  Him  of  many 
graces  and  much  profitable  knowledge,  which  He  would  mer- 
cifully have  given  them  had  they  humbled  their  own  minds 
and  judgments,  so  far  as  to  confess  their  own  ignorance  and 
weakness  by  asking  the  help  and  assistance  of  others,  more 
especially  of  those  by  whose  means  God  is  wont  to  let  us 
know  in  what  and  how  He  desires  to  be  served  by  us.  We 
beg  of  you  therefore,  dear  Fathers,  and  implore  you  again  and 
again  in  our  Lord,  by  that  tender  and  intimate  union  in  Christ 
Jesus  which  binds  us  together,''^  do  not  think  it  too  much 
trouble  to  write  out  for  us  diligently  and  at  length,  advice, 
orders,  instructions  which  may  teach  us  minutely  and  in  parti- 
cular, what  is  to  be  avoided,  what  followed,  what  to  be  guarded 
against,  and  what  embraced,  by  men  who  wish  what  we  wish 
with  all  our  hearts,  that  is,  in  our  whole  life,  and  above  all  in 
the  ofiice  of  promoting  the  salvation  of  souls,  to  conform  our- 
selves exactly  to  the  will  of  God,  which  we  are  confident  will 
be  made  known  to  us  more  by  your  hints  and  precepts  than  by 
anything  else.  And  we  trust  also  that  your  prayers  will  help 
us,  weak  as  we  are,  to  carry  into  execution  whatever  you  shall 
so  prescribe  to  us.  And  these  prayers  we  beg  you  may  be 
made  for  us  in  a  very  special  way,  besides  the  usual  remem- 
brance which  we  all  make  of  one  another.^^  And  surely  there 
is  reason  enough  for  this  in  our  necessities,  so  far  greater  than 
usual,  in  the  extraordinary  dangers  of  our  long  voyage,  and  in 
what  is  to  come  after  that,  the  continual  intercourse  we  are  to 
have  with  the  heathen  Indians,  a  race  of  men  lost  in  vices  of 
all  sorts,  the  contagion  of  which  may  well  hurt  men  so  tepid 
and  ignorant  as  we  are ;  and  that  it  may  not  do  so  we  must 

35  oramus  er^o  vos,  Paires,  et  obsecramus  iterum  atque  iteruni  i?i  Dotmno, 
per  illa^n  nostrajn  hi  Christo  Jesu  conjunctlssimam  amlciiiavi.  (Orig.) 
33  ultra  consuctam  manorlam.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  93 

strive  and  fight  hard  with  all  the  most  abundant  grace  and 
most  efficacious  helps  from  God  which  we  can  gain. 

We  shall  write  to  you  at  full  length  from  India  by  the 
first  ships  that  sail  after  our  arrival.  Our  letters  will  be  on 
the  same  subject  and  in.  the  same  sense  with  those  which  we 
are  to  send  to  the  King,  in  obedience  to  his  Highness'  com- 
mands. For  when  he  bade  us  farewell  for  the  last  time  before 
our  departure,  this  good  Prince  most  earnestly  and  strongly 
enjoined  us,  in  the  name  of  God  our  Lord  and  for  His  love, 
to  inform  him  fully  and  exactly  what  appearance  there  may 
be  in  India  of  a  disposition  to  the  conversion  of  those  miser- 
able souls.  He  declared  that  he  was  burnt  up  and  tormented 
with  continual  internal  anguish  at  their  unhappy  lot,  that  his 
wish  was,  and  that  for  the  hope  of  this  there  -was  no  price 
that  he  would  not  pay,  to  prevent  the  continuance  of  those 
offences  against  the  Creator  and  Lord  of  all  men  on  the  part 
of  His  creatures,  made  after  His  own  image  and  redeemed 
at  such  a  cost,  which  have  hitherto  prevailed  there.  So  ardent 
is  the  zeal  for  the  glory  of  Christ  our  Lord  and  for  the  salva- 
tion of  his  neighbours  which  burns  in  the  heart  of  this  excellent 
King.  For  my  part  I  feel  incited  to  render  endless  praise  and 
thanks  to  God  for  letting  me  see  a  King  of  immense  power 
full  of  so  much  piety  as  to  religious  matters,  and  I  must  say 
with  all  truth,  that  unless  I  had  had  the  evidence  of  my  own 
senses  to  convince  me,  I  could  hardly  have  persuaded  my- 
self to  believe  that  any  secular  person,  especially  one  who  as 
a  Prince  is  at  the  very  summit  of  worldly  greatness,  and  amidst 
all  the  tumult  of  a  great  Court,  could  have  a  heart  capable  of 
such  exquisite  devotion  and  charity.  I  pray  God  that  it  may 
please  Him  to  increase  in  the  King  these  great  gifts  and  mul- 
tiply the  days  of  his  life  into  many  long  years — since  he  spends 
them  in  so  holy  a  manner,  and  is  so  useful  and  so  necessary 
unto  his  people.37 

Thus  much  as  to  the  King :  now  about  the  Court.     No- 

37  tarn  utilis  et  f?eccssarius  est  populo  sua.  (Orig. )  Francis  probably  alludes 
to  the  traditional  anecdote  of  the  saying  of  St.  Martin,  '  DotJiine,  si  populo  tuo 
adlmc  sum  necessarius,  non  recuso  laboremj* 

94  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

thing  can  be  more  thoroughly  well  ordered — it  is  more  like 
a  religious  community  than  a  secular  Court.  There  are  so 
many  who  approach  the  holy  sacraments  of  penance  and  com- 
munion weekly,  that  we  unceasingly  give  great  praise  and 
thanks  to  God  when  we  see  and  wonder  at  them.  We  have  so 
many  confessions  to  hear,  that  if  there  were  twice  as  many 
of  us,  there  would  be  plenty  of  work  for  all.  We  sit  in  the 
confessional  whole  days  and  part  of  the  nights,  and  yet  none 
but  the  people  of  the  Court  are  allowed  to  come  to  us,  all 
others  are  excluded.  I  recollect  observing  when  the  King 
was  staying  at  Almerim  how  the  people  who  came  to  the 
Court  on  business  used  to  be  surprised  at  what  was  to  them 
a  new  custom,  especially  in  followers  of  the  Court,  and  how 
astonished  they  were  to  see  so  many  of  them  going  to  com- 
munion every  Sunday  and  on  the  Feast  Days  besides.  A 
good  many  too  of  them  imitated  what  they  wondered  at, 
purified  their  own  souls  by  penance,  and  began  to  frequent 
holy  communion.  If  there  were  here  confessors  enough  to 
hear  the  whole  crowd  of  people  that  usually  come  to  the  Court 
when  it  is  in  its  progress,  there  would  be  hardly  any  one  who 
comes  to  do  business  with  his  Highness  who  would  not  first 
settle  his  affairs  with  God.  As  it  is,  many  who  want  to  confess 
find  no  one  to  hear  them,  though,  as  I  said,  we  do  not  spare 
ourselves,  so  little  indeed,  that  we  have  been  so  constantly 
in  the  confessional  that  we  have  had  no  time  for  preaching. 
After  due  consideration  we  concluded  that  it  was  more  for  the 
service  of  God  our  Lord  to  give  ourselves  up  to  hearing  con- 
fessions than  to  preach,  because  there  is  no  lack  of  preachers 
in  this  Court,  but  considerable  scarcity  of  practised  confessors. 
So  we  have  left  the  pulpit  for  the  confessional. 

And  now  we  have  nothing  more  to  tell  you,  save  that  now 
that  we  are  on  the  point  of  starting  for  India,  we  pray  to  our 
Lord  God  that  in  a  better  life  He  will  vouchsafe  to  bring  us 
together  again  with  you  from  whom  we  are  now  separating 
ourselves  for  the  sake  of  Him.  In  this  life  we  can  hardly 
hope  to  meet  again,  both  on  account  of  the  immense  distances 
of  sea  and  land  which  divide  Rome  and  India,  as  also  because 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  95 

the  abundant  harvest  which  awaits  us  in  those  countries  will 
probably  shut  us  out  from  all  thought  or  power  of  looking  to 
other  fields  or  spheres  of  labour,  as  offering  to  us  opportuni- 
ties of  working  with  more  fruit  for  the  garners  of  the  Lord  of 
all,  to  whose  service  we  have  devoted  ourselves.  Whoever, 
therefore,  of  us  may  be  the  first  to  arrive  at  that  Blessed  Life, 
and  there  not  to  find  the  brother  whom  he  loves  in  the  Lord,^^ 
let  him  remember  to  make  his  prayer  to  Christ  our  King  that 
He  bring  thither  his  brother  also  and  make  us  all  once  more 
companions  in  His  glory. 

To  all  of  you  dear  ones  in  our  Lord  at  Rome, 

Francis  Xavier. 

Lisbon,  March  i8th,  1541. 

Francis  wrote  on  the  same  day  another  letter  to  two  of  his 
first  companions.  Father  Laynez  and  Father  Le  Jay,  who  at 
the  time  at  which  he  wrote  were  labouring,  the  one  at  Parma, 
the  other  at  Brescia,  but  were  soon  to  be  called  to  Rome  for 
the  election  of  the  first  General  in  the  person  of  St.  Ignatius.' 
We  have  only  a  fragment  left  to  us  of  this  letter : 

(ix.)   To  the  Fathers  Le  Jay  and  Laynez, 

With  regard  to  the  King  and  the  alms  that  he  intends  for 
the  building  of  the  house,39  I  am  writing  to  Peter  Codacio 
what  he  ought  to  do  at  Rome.  It  seemed  to  me  that  just 
now,  during  this  spring  quarter  that  is  beginning,  the  matter 
might  present  itself  rather  unseasonably,  as  it  would  be  in  the 
midst  of  the  preparations  which  are  making  for  a  war  which  is 
said  to  be  on  the  point  of  breaking  out  from  the  neighbouring 
coast  of  Africa.  News  comes  frequently,  and  always  to  the 
same  purport,  that  all  the  tribes  of  the  Moors  are  in  league, 

38  no7t  invefterit fratrem  quern  in  Domino  diligit.  (Orig.)  The  allusion  is 
to  St.  Paul,  2  Cor.  ii.  13. 

39  The  Society  had  already  taken  possession  of  the  church  of  Sta.  Maria  della 
Strada,  which  stood  where  the  present  church  and  house  of  the  Gesu  stand. 
It  was  Codacio  who  had  got  the  church  made  over  to  the  Society.  The  house 
for  which  alms  were  to  have  been  sought  from  the  King  of  Portugal  was  pro- 
bably the  house  for  the  Fathers  adjoining  the  church. 

g6  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

and  threaten  a  formidable  invasion  of  the  Portuguese  domi- 

When  times  are  more  quiet,  it  would  help  much  for  our 
business  to  gain  at  Rome  the  good  offices  of  the  Cardinals 
who  stand  best  with  the  King,  if  they  would  be  so  very  kind 
as  to  inform  him  accurately  by  letter  how  very  profitably  his 
Highness  would  spend  his  money  on  such  a  foundation.  I.  think 
Cardinal  Carpi  is  one  of  these  Cardinals  :  I  fancy  this,  be- 
cause I  know  he  is  very  intimate  with  Don  Pedro  (Mas- 
carenas),  and  thus  letters  of  recommendation  coming  from 
him,  as  well  as  from  the  Cardinal  of  the  Quattro  Coronaii  and 
others,  whom  you  may  know  to  be  on  good  terms  with  his 
Highness,  would  be  extremely  useful  to  us.  And  if  for  any 
reason  these  Cardinals  were  to  decline  to  write  direct  to  the 
King,  still  I  suppose  they  might,  with  no  great  difficulty,  be 
induced,  especially  Cardinal  Carpi,  to  write  privately  to  Don 
Pedro  to  beg  him  to  speak  to  the  King  and  undertake  the 
promotion  of  so  excellent  a  work  with  his  Highness.  Besides, 
if  the  King's  ambassador  at  Rome  is  well  disposed  towards 
the  Society,  it  would  be  of  the  greatest  service  to  obtain  let- 
ters from  him  to  the  same  effect,  explaining  to  the  King  how 
much  our  interests  at  Rome  are  in  need  of  the  favour  of  his 

Do  not  forget  to  write  yourselves  to  Don  Pedro  de  Mas- 
carenas.  I  can't  find  words  to  tell  you  the  pleasure  he  takes 
in  your  letters.  Be  quite  sure  that  he  loves  you  very  much 
in  the  Lord;^^  he  keeps  with  the  greatest  care  the  letters  which 
he  has  from  you,  he  rea-ds  every  word  in  them  over  and  over 
again  with  a  pleasure  and  spiritual  fruit  which  make  his  face 
shine  with  joy.  Indeed,  when  I  see  by  these  clear  proofs 
how  devoted  he  is  to  you,  I  feel  as  if  I  ought  to  devote  all  my 
life  to  his  service.  We  have  been  thinking  here,  saving  better 
jud^ment,^!  that  it  would  be  well  for  you  to  write  to  the  King 
to  thank  him  for  the  desire  he  has  shown  of  founding  here 
a  house  or  college  for  the  Society.  Good  offices  and  observ- 
ances of  this  sort  are  a  frequent,  established,  and  required 

^  multum  in  Domino.  (Orig.)  ^"^  salvo  meliorijudicio.  (Orig.) 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  97 

custom  in  the  Court  here,  and  I  am  certain,  from  what  Don 
Pedro  told  me,  that  such  a  letter  would  please  the  King  much. 
You  should  mention  in  it  that  you  have  been  informed  by  us 
of  the  generous  intentions  expressed  by  his  Highness  of  erect- 
ing a  college  or  a  house  of  our  Society.  This  would  be,  as 
the  proverb  goes,  to  spur  the  wiUing  steed,  and  would  urge 
him  all  the  more  strongly  to  cut  short  all  delay  in  the  matter. 
Another  thing  I  know,  and  I  may  as  well  tell  it  you, — you  may 
be  certain  that  the  letters  you  write  in  the  way  I  have  sug- 
gested will  pass  through  many  hands  and  be  read  by  many 

Now  let  me  tell  you  of  Francesco  Mancias.  He  is  not 
yet  in  any  sacred  orders  at  all.  There  is  a  Bishop  in  India 
who,  we  trust  in  the  Lord,  will  make  no  difficulty  as  to  or- 
daining the  good  man,  though  it  is  certain  he  has  a  larger 
store  of  zeal,  virtue,  and  simplicity,  than  of  any  extraordinary 
learning.  Unless  Master  Paul  can  communicate  to  him  some 
part  of  his  own  great  knowledge,  I  am  terribly  afraid  that 
without  special  aid  from  God  he  will  hardly  be  found  up  to 
the  mark  in  the  examination  which  ought  according  to  rule 
to  precede  the  conferring  of  holy  orders.  If  this  were  to  hap- 
pen it  would  upset  our  plans  altogether.  At  all  events,  in  the 
prospect  of  any  such  event,  he  would  desire  that  you  would 
get  him  letters  from  Rome  excusing  him  from  any  very  ela- 
borate preparation  for  holy  orders,  and  which  might  autho- 
rize him  to  receive  extra  iempora  the  three  sacred  orders,  on 
three  successive  Feast  days,  on  the  title,  as  it  were,  of  *  volun- 
tary poverty  and  (very)  sufficient'  simplicity.  ^2  jn  order  to 
obtain  this  favour,  it  may  with  truth  be  pleaded  that  in  his 
case  the  deficiency  of  learning  is  supplied  by  much  goodness 
and  holy  simplicity.  In  fact,  if  he  had  been  as  intimate  with 
Bobadilla  as  he  was  with  Cacerez,'*^  ^g  would,  as  so  often  hap- 

42  ad  titulum  voluntaricepaJipertatis  et  stifficientisshnmsimplicitatis.  (Orig.) 
This  is  a  play  upon  the  formula  used  in  ordinations,  when  the  candidates  are 
declared  to  be  ordained,  some  '  titulo  religionis,'  others  '  titulo  beneficii/  and 
others  '  sui  sufficientis  patrimonii.' 

43  This  chance  mention  of  Cacerez  has  hardly  perhaps  been  noticed  by  the 
writers  of  the  life  of  St.  Ignatius.     At  the  head  of  the  list  of  signatures  to  the 

VOL.  I.  H 

98  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

pens,  have  got  from  the  friction  of  daily  familiar  intercourse, 
something  rather  more  like  the  erudition  of  the  former  than 
the  ignorance  of  the  latter,  and  we  should  not  be  in  our  pre- 
sent difficulty ;  in  that  case,  we  should  certainly  have  had  him 
moving  at  full  sail  over  the  vast  ocean  of  the  sacred  Scriptures, 
and  learning  would  burst  from  his  lips  spontaneously.  More- 
over, both  Mancias  and  Don  Paul  would  like  to  obtain  from 
his  Holiness  the  favour  that  every  time  they  say  mass,  it  may 
be  as  if  at  a  'privileged  altar.' 

The  number  of  masses  that  we  have  already  celebrated  for 
Cardinal  Guidiccioni  amount  to  two  hundred  and  fifty,  from 
the  time  of  our  leaving  Rome  up  to  the  present  day.  May 
God  our  Lord  grant  us  grace  to  offer  the  rest  in  India !  In- 
deed, when  I  think  within  myself  what  fruit  and  what  spiritual 
joy  I  have  always  up  to  this  time  felt  in  offering  sacrifice  for 
this  very  reverend  Prince  of  the  Church,  I  feel  drawn  to  re- 
commend him  to  God  our  Lord  in  every  mass  that  I  shall  say 
during  the  rest  of  my  life. 

[It  appears  that  the  news  of  the  approval  of  the  Institute, 
so  long  delayed  by  the  opposition  of  Cardinal  Guidiccioni,  had 
now  reached  Portugal,  and  this  accounts  for  the  joyous  burst 
of  gratitude  which  the  last  quoted  sentences  of  the  letter  con- 
tain. Francis  had  at  least  the  consolation  not  to  sail  for  the 
East  before  the  good  tidings  reached  him.  His  mind  at  once 
turns,  as  we  see  in  the  next  paragraph,  to  those  souls  of  whom 
he  has  already  more  than  once  spoken,  who  had  thought  of 

paper  drawn  up  in  1539,  by  Ignatius  and  his  companions,  about  adding  the  vow 
of  obedience  to  the  other  two  vows,  and,  in  fact,  entering  the  Society  as  a  religi- 
ous body  under  a  Superior,  as  soon  as  it  was  approved  of  by  the  Pope,  appears 
the  name  of  Cacres.  It  has  always  been  a  puzzle  to  the  historians,  as  no  such 
Father  is  elsewhere  mentioned,  and  all  the  other  signatures  are  those  of  the  well- 
known  '  Companions.'  Two  letters  of  St.  Ignatius,  written  in  1536  to  a  nun  in 
Spain,  mention  a  Carceres  or  Cazeres  as  a  friend  of  them  both  who  has  Taeen 
giving  her  some  instructions  in  spiritual  matters.  Cacerez  may  well  have  been 
one  of  those  who  dropped  off  after  intending  to  join  the  Society.  We  gather 
from  the  present  letter,  which  draws  a  playful  picture  both  of  Mancias  and 
Bobadilla,  that  Cacerez  was  no  great  loss  to  the  Society  in  point  of  learning. 
Where  Mancias  had  fallen  in  with  him,  must  be  left  to  conjecture. 

Francis  in  Lisbon,  99 

joining  the  Society,  but  could  not  muster  up  courage  for  the 
final  step.] 

We  want  much  to  know  whether,  now  that  our  rule  is  con- 
firmed, those  persons  to  whom  we  used  to  say  we  were  so  largely 
in  debt  in  the  matter  of  mutual  love  on  account  of  the  very 
great  and  kind  interest  they  voluntarily  showed  us  in  this  busi- 
ness of  ours,  promoting  it  in  every  way  and  by  every  effort, 
whether  these  persons,  I  say,  have  either  yet  entered  the  So- 
ciety or  are  on  the  point  of  doing  so.  I  suspect  there  are 
some  among  them  who  would  be  glad  to  find  peace  to  their 
souls,  without  undertaking  this  humble  and  painful  life  of  ours. 
Whether  they  will  find  that  peace  I  know  not.  It  may  well 
be  that  what  they  seek  where  they  wish  to  find  it,  they  will 
only  find  at  last  where  they  are  afraid  to  seek  it,  if  they  ever 
manage  to  make  up  their  minds  to  go  there.  I  say  this  not 
only  as  to  Francesco  Zapata — I  mean  to  include  the  worthy 
Licentiate,  who,  I  imagine,  won't  know  much  of  the  quiet  of 
a  mind  at  rest  while  he  haunts,  as  he  does,  the  palaces  of  the 
great.  As  for  the  Doctor  of  Medicine,  Ignatius  Lopez,  it 
seems  to  me  that  he  will  bring  discredit  on  his  own  reputation 
and  have  to  give  up  his  profession  altogether,  if  he  withdraws 
without  having  perfectly  cured  the  weak  stomach  of  Father 
Ignatius  and  the  deranged  humours  of  Bobadilla.  As  to  Diego 
Zappata  and  others  like  him,^*  I  have  nothing  to  say,  except 
that  it  is  very  probable  the  world  will  find  them  useless,  and 
so  get  rid  of  them,  doomed  to  labour  hard  enough  for  the  rest 
of  their  lives  in  a  difficult  search  after  any  one  who  will  care 
to  have  them. 

I  do  not  know  how  it  is,  but,  since  the  King  has  settled 
that  some  of  us  are  to  remain  here  and  others  to  go,  I  can't 
drive  out  of  my  mind  an  image  that  is  continually  presenting 
itself  unbidden,  the  image  of  our  dear  brother  Antonio  Araoz, 
whom  my  prophetic  mind  sets  before  me  as  coming  out  by 
and  bye  to  us  in  India,  accompanied  by  six  clerics  at  the  least 

44  et  ei  sitnilibus.  (Orig.)    The  spelling  of  the  name  Zappata  is  difFerent 
in  the  two  places  in  this  page. 

loo  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

and  a  fitting  following  of  others ;  and  if  the  men  he  brings  us 
are  not  all  prodigies  of  science,  yet  if  they  are  well  disposed 
to  spend  what  remains  of  their  life  in  the  service  of  God  our 
Lord,  and  are  besides  free  from  all  appearance  of  avarice, 
we  hope  that  their  coming  will  be  of  the  greatest  use  to  us. 
And  even  if  you  should  not  send  us  any  of  this  sort  this  year 
(that  is  to  say,  in  the  March  of  the  year  after  this),  but  only 
two  years  hence,  when  you  will  have  been  able  to  receive 
letters  from  us  in  India,  it  would  be  no  great  inconvenience, 
so  long  as  at  the  last  date  I  have  named  we  might  have  with- 
out fail  the  reinforcement  of  a  certain  number  of  good  labourers 
sent  out  by  you  to  us.  We  leave  the  whole  of  this  affair  to 
your  wisdom  :  but  we  are  most  anxious  that  when  you  deli- 
berate upon  the  point,  you  should  seriously  consider  what  P^ 
assure  you  of  most  positively,  that  I  am  entirely  convinced 
that  the  fruit  of  our  labours  in  India  will  be  by  no  means 
slight.  Pray  don't  think  that  this  is  the  mere  guess  of  a  mind 
that  flatters  itself.  It  is  the  constant  assurance  given  us  by 
men  who  have  been  there  for  many  years  that  obliges  us  to 
hope  it.  How  we  find  things  on  the  spot  you  will  learn  from 
our  letters,  in  which  we  mean  diligently  and  fully  to  set  forth 
from  knowledge  gained  by  our  own  eyes  what  is  the  true  state 
and  disposition  of  the  country  and  its  inhabitants,  as  far  as 
concerns  the  affair  of  the  salvation  of  souls,  and  the  hopes  and 
means  of  extending  the  Kingdom  of  Jesus  Christ.  We  expect, 
as  I  said  just  now,  that  the  singular  favour  of  the  Governor, 
which  he  manifests  by  doing  every  possible  kind  of  service 
to  us,  will  be  of  the  very  greatest  and  most  universal  help  to 
insure  the  success  of  all  the  efforts  we  shall  make  of  this  kind, 
on  account  of  the  extremely  high  influence  which  he  may  well 
be  expected  to  have  with  the  kings  and  rulers  of  the  countries 
who  are  allies  of  the  King  of  Portugal,  both  on  account  of  his 
own  virtues,  which  are  so  well  known  of  old  in  those  parts, 
as  well  as  on  account  of  the  new  dignity  with  which  he  is  now 
invested  as  the  holder  of  the  highest  oflice  in  the  government 
and  as  the  representative  of  his  Highness. 

*'  The  change  of  number  is  in  the  original. 

Francis  in  Lisbon.  loi 

If  you  think  that  any  of  the  spiritual  favours  which  can  be 
got  from  the  Pope  would  be  useful  to  us  by  increasing  the 
efficacy  of  our  work  out  there,  do  as  your  charity  and  wisdom 
may  suggest.  One  favour  in  particular  we  should  like  to  ob- 
tain, and  to  have  it  sent  to  us  in  a  regularly  sealed  diploma, 
as  soon  as  may  be,  that  is,  the  faculty  granting  by  the  authority 
of  the  Pope  to  ours  in  India,  that  they  may  receive  sacred 
orders  extra  teinpora^  without  patrimony  or  benefice,  under  the 
title  of  voluntary  poverty  which  they  have  promised  to  God  ; 
with  exemption  when  necessary  from  the  canonical  impedi- 
ment resulting  from  illegitimate  birth.  Last  of  all,  we  implore 
you,  when  you  write  to  us  in  India,  not  to  do  so  by  any  means 
perfunctorily  or  shortly.  We  most  earnestly  wish  you  to  tell 
us  in  particular  about  all  and  each  of  ours ;  what  they  are 
(doing,  how  they  are,  what  plans  they  have,  what  hopes  of  them- 
selves, what  fruit  they  produce.  This  ought  not  to  seem  a 
very  severe  task  for  you  to  undertake,  since  you  will  have  no 
opportunity  of  writing  to  us  except  once  and  no  more  in  each 
year.  Do  please  manage  to  make  your  letters  from  Europe 
furnish  us  with  abundant  reading  for  a  full  week.  We  promise 
solemnly  that  we  will  do  as  much  for  you.  Farewell. 
In  the  name  of  all  your  dearest  brothers  here, 
Lisbon,  March  i8th,  1541.  FranCIS  XaVIER. 

The  bright  and  cheerful  tone  of  this  familiar  letter  to  his 
old  companions  makes  us  wish  that  we  had  more  such  relics 
of  the  heart  and  hand  of  St.  Francis.  At  the  time  at  which 
this  was  written,  the  first  Fathers  of  the  Society  were  meeting 
in  Rome  for  the  purpose  of  electing  their  first  Genera.1.  When 
more  than  a  fortnight  later  St.  Francis  set  sail  from  Lisbon 
(on  his  thirty-fifth  birthday,  April  7 ;  the  Thursday  in  Passion 
Week),  the  election  was  actually  proceeding,  and  his  vote  for 
St.  Ignatius  was  counting  with  the  rest.^^     Three  others   of 

46  Most  of  the  suffrages  are  dated  April  4,  that  of  Ignatius  himself  April  5. 
Three  days  of  prayer  preceded  the  voting,  and  after  the  votes  had  been  sealed 
up,  three  days  more  of  prayer  followed  before  they  vi^ere  opened.  St.  Ignatius, 
after  much  resistance  on  his  own  part,  entered  on  his  duties  as  General  on  the 
Easter  Tuesday,  April  19. 

IC2  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

the  original  '  companions'  were  absent  besides  himself,  Peter 
Favre,  who  was  in  Germany,  Bobadilla,  who  was  detained  at 
Bisignano  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  and  Simon  Rodriguez, 
who  accompanied  him  on  board  the  Governor's  ship,  the  St 
James,  to  give  and  receive  a  last  loving  embrace.  They  were 
to  meet  no  more  in  this  world,  and  Francis  was  never  to  re- 
turn to  Europe.  It  was  then  that  Francis  revealed  to  Simon 
the  secret  of  the  words,  *  Yet  more,  Lord,  yet  more,'  which 
Simon  had  heard  him  utter  in  his  dream  in  the  sickroom  at 
Rome,  as  well  as  another  secret.  Simon  was  again  being  nursed 
by  him  at  night,  and  Francis  had  fallen  asleep  from  fatigue  at 
the  foot  of  his  patient's  bed.  Suddenly  he  had  been  seen  to 
struggle  violently  in  his  sleep,  and  at  last  a  quantity  of  blood 
burst  from  his  mouth.  Simon  could  never  get  him  to  tell  him 
what  had  then  passed,  but  now,  in  the  openness  of  a  soul  that 
was  wishing  a  dear  friend  goodbye,  Francis  avowed  to  him 
that  by  the  grace  of  God  he  had  never  been  stained  by  any, 
even  the  slightest,  impurity,  and  that  at  that  time  an  evil  dream 
had  tormented  him,  and  his  struggles  in  resisting  it  had  been 
so  violent  that  a  small  bloodvessel  had  been  burst.  It  was 
solemnly  attested  after  his  death  that  this  spotless  purity  of 
his  had  never  been  tarnished  in  the  faintest  degree.  All  the 
rest  of  his  life  was  to  be  the  fulfilment  of  the  other  vision. 
His  brave,  ardent,  and  most  tender  heart,  which  had  then 
been  endowed  with  so  keen  a  thirst  for  more  and  more  suf- 
fering, labours,  and  sorrows  for  the  sake  of  the  advancement 
of  God's  glory,  was  now  to  begin  its  career  of  sacrifice  by  a 
lifelong  separation  from  the  *  brethren  whom  he  loved  in  the 


(i.)  Suffrage  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  in  the  election  of  a  Getter al 
for  the  Society  of  Jesus. 

The  paper  spoken  of  in  p.  59  as  having  been  left  by  St.  Francis 
Xavier  in  Rome  to  be  used  when  the  occasion  came  for  the  elec- 
tion of  a  Superior  for  the  Society,  after  its  approval  by  the  Holy 
Father,  is  considered  by  F.  Menchacha  to  be  rather  a  letter  than 
a  formal  suffrage.  The  original,  which  was  all  in  St.  Francis' 
own  handwriting,  was  inscribed  on  the  outside,  'Esta  es  la  Carta 
de  Francisco  para  los  de  la  Companid!  (This  is  the  letter  of  Francis 
for  those  of  the  Company),  The  proper  word  for  '  paper'  would 
have  been  'papel'  (Menchacha,  Epistolce  S.  Fr.  Xaverii,  t.  ii.  p. 
501).  The  letter  is  printed  by  the  Bollandists  in  the  Life  of  St. 
Ignatius  {Acta  Sanctorum  Julii,  t.  vii.  in  Comm.  prsevia  de  S.  Ig- 
natio  Loyola,  §  35,  num.  360  seq.).      It  runs  as  follows  : 

1.  I  Francis  say  that,  when  his  Holiness  grants  us  our  mode 
of  life,  I  assent  to  all  that  the  Society  shall  ordain  concerning 
all  our  Constitutions,  Rules,  and  manner  of  living,  those  Fathers 
being  assembled  at  Rome  who  can  be  conveniently  called  together 
and  assembled.  And  since  his  Holiness  is  sending  many  of  us 
to  different  parts  out  of  Italy,  and  all  cannot  come  together,  I 
declare  by  this  letter  and  I  promise  that  I  will  consider  fair  and 
good  whatever  those  may  ordain  who  are  able  to  be  present  at  the 
meeting,  whether  they  are  two  or  three,  or  whoever  they  may  be. 
And  so  I  declare  by  this  present  signed  by  my  hand,  and  I  pro- 
mise that  I  will  hold  as  binding  all  that  they  may  do.  Written 
at  Rome  in  the  year  1540,  March  15.  Francis. 

2.  IHS.  I  Francis  also  declare  and  affirm  that,  in  no  man- 
ner persuaded  by  man,  I  judge  that  he  who  is  to  be  elected  as 
the  Superior  of  our  Society,  to  whom  we  are  all  to  owe  obedi- 
ence,— as  what  seems  to  me  just  and  speaking  according  to 
what  my  conscience  dictates, — that  our  Superior  should  be  our 
old  and  true  Father  Don  Ignatius,  who  brought  us  all  together 

104^  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

with  so  much  labour.  He, — not  without  labour  also, — will  know 
best  how  to  keep  us  as  we  are,  to  govern  us,  and  to  make  us 
advance  from  good  to  better,  for  he  thoroughly  knows  every  one 
of  us.  And  after  his  death,  speaking  according  to  what  my  soul 
feels  right,  as  if  I  were  now  at  the  point  of  death,  I  declare  that 
Father  Master  Peter  Favre  should  be  chosen.  And  in  this  re- 
spect God  is  my  witness  that  I  say  exactly  what  I  think.  In  witness 
of  which  I  subscribe  this  with  my  own  hand.  Done  at  Rome  in 
the  year  1540,  March  15.  Franxis. 

3.  In  likd  manner,  after  the  Society  shall  have  been  assembled 
and  shall  have  chosen  a  Superior,  I  Francis  promise,  now  for  then, 
perpetual  obedience,  poverty,  and  chastity.  And  so,  my  dearest 
Father  in  Christ,  Laynez,  I  beseech  you  for  the  service  of  our  Lord 
God,  in  my  absence  to  offer  for  me  this  my  will  with  the  three 
vows  of  Religion  to  the  Superior,  whom  you  and  the  rest  shall 
have  chosen.  And  from  now,  as  from  the  day  on  which  he  shall 
be  elected,  I  promise  to  observe  them.  In  witness  of  which  I  have 
prepared  this  declaration  signed  with  my  own  hand.  Written  at 
Rome  in  the  year  1540,  March  15.  Francis. 

(2.)  Letter  of  St.  Ignatius  to  his  Nephew,  recommending  to  him  St. 
Francis  Xavier  and  the  Ambassador  of  the  King  of  Portugal. 

The  following  letter,  which  we  quote  from  Menchacha,  Epis- 
toIcB  S.  Ignatii  (I.  i,  ep.  xii.),  shows,  among  other  things,  the  great 
hurry  in  which  our  Saint  left  Rome  for  Portugal. 

To  Beitran,  Lord  of  Loyola, 


May  our  Lord  ever  help  and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

I  am  altogether  prevented  from  writing  to  you  at  any  length, 
as  I  would  wish  to  do,  by  the  great  and  extreme  haste  with  which 
we  are  pressed  at  a  moment's  notice  to  send  some  of  our  Society 
to  the  Indies,  some  to  Ireland,  and  others  to  different  parts  of 
Italy.  The  bearer  of  this  is  Master  Francis  Xavier,  of  Navarre, 
son  of  the  Lord  of  Xavier,  one  of  our  Society.  He  is  going  [to 
India]  by  command  of  the  Holy  Father  and  at  the  request  of  the 
King  of  Portugal,  as  well  as  two  others  who  are  on  their  way  to 
the  King  by  sea.  From  the  same  Master  Francis  you  will  learn 
everything,  and  he  will  speak  to  you  on  any  subject  in  my  name, 
as  if  I  myself  were  present.     You  should  know  that  the  ambas- 

Notes  to  Book  L  105 

sador  of  the  King  of  Portugal,  whom  Master  Francis  accompanies, 
is  allied  to  us  by  the  bonds  of  the  closest  friendship,  and  that  we 
owe  him  very  much  indeed,  and  that  he  hopes  to  be  a  great 
protector  to  us  in  matters  which  relate  to  the  service  of  God 
with  his  King  and  with  all  others  with  whom  he  has  influence. 
I  beg  you  therefore,  for  the  service  of  our  Lord  God,  to  receive 
him  when  he  comes  to  your  parts  with  the  greatest  honour  and 
as  splendidly  as  you  can.  If  Araoz  is  with  you,  let  him  consider 
this  letter  as  written  to  him.  You  may  beheve  and  rely  on  Master 
Francis  in  my  name  as  much  as  on  myself.  I  pray  you  commend 
me  much  to  your  lady  wife,  and  to  all  your  family.  May  our 
Lord  ever  help  and  favour  you ! 

Your  poor  one  in  goodness, 

Rome,  March  i6,  1540. 

The  third  member  of  the  Society  who  is  here  mentioned  as 
having  sailed  with  Simon  Rodriguez  for  Portugal  is  evidently 
Father  Paul  of  Camerino,  who  ultimately  left  for  India  along  with 
Francis  Xavier  and  Francis  Mancias.  It  has  been  thought  that 
the  letter  implies  that  St.  Ignatius  had  not  yet  abandoned  the 
idea  of  sending  Bobadilla  ;  but  he  could  not  be  one  of  two  who 
are  mentioned  as  being  already  on  their  way  by  sea  to  Lisbon. 

Antonio  Araoz  was  a  near  relation  of  St.  Ignatius,  who  had 
joined  the  Society  the  year  before  this  letter  was  written,  and  was 
now  in  Spain.  He  afterwards  became  very  celebrated  among  the 
earlier  Fathers  of  the  Society,  was  a  great  preacher,  and  filled 
many  important  offices.     At  this  time  he  was  not  yet  a  Priest. 

(3.)  Don  Pedro  Mascarenas. 

The  Ambassador  Mascareiias  was  one  of  the  most  distin- 
guished servants  of  the  Portuguese  Crown.  He  had  served  in 
Africa  with  distinction,  and  had  been  a  splendid  ambassador  at 
Brussels  and  at  Rome.  He  was  afterwards  appointed  tutor  for  a 
time  to  the  Infante  Don  Juan,  and  ended  his  days,  curiously 
enough,  in  India,  where  he  was  sent  two  years  after  the  death  of 
St.  Francis,  being  himself  seventy  years  of  age,  as  Viceroy,  much 
against  his  own  will  and  the  earnest  entreaties  to  the  King  of 
his  wife.  The  Portuguese  annalist  of  India  speaks  of  him  in  the 
highest  terms  of  praise.  '  It  was  believed  that  if  he  had  continued 
in  that  government  some  years,  he  would  have  reestablished  truth, 
justice,  and  honesty  in  India. — Don  Pedro  Mascareiias  had  such 

io6  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

an  awful  presence  and  majestic  deportment,  that  nobody  before 
him  durst  do  or  say  anything  indecent.*  One  of  the  acts  of  his 
government  in  India  was  to  send  a  Father  and  Brother  of  the 
Society  to  the  Emperor  of  Ethiopia — 'Prester  John' — to  induce 
him  to  become  Catholic — '  para  persuadir  al  Preste  Juan  a  que 
dexasse  los  ritos  antiguos  de  la  Christiandad  profanada,  que  si- 
guia.'     See  Faria  y  Sousa,  Asia  Portuguesa,  t.  ii.  p.  2,  cap.  xi. 




Voyage  to  India^  and  first  labours  at  Goa. 

The  missionary  of  our  own  time  usually  embarks  for  India  or 
China  at  Southampton  or  Marseilles  in  a  large,  swift,  and  well- 
appointed  steamer,  and  finds  himself,  after  a  short  experience 
of  the  Bay  of  Biscay  or  of  the  Mediterranean,  at  Gibraltar  or  at 
Malta,  and  then  after  another  short  interval  at  Alexandria, 
whence  he  mounts  the  Nile  to  Cairo  and  reaches  Suez  by  a  few 
hours  of  railway  travelling,  to  find  another  steamer  waiting  for 
him  which  carries  him  to  India  in  the  space  of  not  more  than  a 
few  weeks.  He  has  little  in  common,  as  far  as  the  dangers  and 
sufi"erings  of  the  voyage  are  concerned,  with  St.  Francis  Xavier 
and  his  two  companions  on  their  long  and  weary  sail  to  the 
Indian  coast  from  Lisbon.  Although  the  ships  which  in  the 
sixteenth  century  were  used  for  distant  navigation  were  huge 
in  size  as  compared  with  the  ordinary  vessels  of  the  time,  they 
were  slow,  unsafe,  and  of  small  accommodation  when  contrasted 
with  passenger  steamers  or  clippers  of  our  own  century,  and,  as 
they  carried  large  freight  in  the  way  of  merchandize  and  were 
also  transports  for  soldiers,  they  were  usually  extremely  crowded, 
with  little  space  to  spare,  and  the  long  time  spent  on  board 
must  always  have  been  a  period  of  suffering  and  confinement 
to  all.^  The  voyage  from  Lisbon  to  Goa  generally  lasted  about 
six  months,  and  was  considered  in  itself  as  an  enterprise  of  no 
common  danger.  We  are  told  that  the  seas  about  the  Cape 
were  particularly  dreaded,  and  that  passengers  ordinarily  pro- 
vided themselves  with  a  windingsheet,  that  their  bodies  might 
be  committed  to  the  waves,  in  case  of  their  death,  with  some 

1  Bartoli,  in  the  first  book  of  his  Asia  (p.  26-31,  first  ed.  Rome,  1653),  gives 
a  long  description  of  the  ships  used  for  these  voyages,  of  the  great  dangers  of 
the  navigation,  and  of  the  virtues  required  in  missionaries  for  India. 

no  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

appearance  of  Christian  decency.  Before  the  storms  at  the 
Cape,  there  were  the  terrible  calms  off  the  Guinea  coast,  and 
the  scurvy,  the  peculiar  scourge  of  long  and  confined  sea  pass- 
ages, not  to  speak  of  the  very  possible  accidents  of  shipwreck 
and  the  like,  as  well  as  some  which  we  should  consider  ima- 
ginary, such  as  the  poisonous  showers  which  were  said  to  fall 
under  the  torrid  zone,  and  the  huge  sea  monsters  which  roamed 
the  Indian  Ocean,  and  could  easily  send  a  vessel  to  the  bottom 
with  a  single  stroke  of  their  tails.  The  ships,  which  were  dis- 
patched only  once  a  year,  were  crowded  with  inmates,  and 
sailed  in  company.  They  carried  a  wild  and  motley  multitude 
— merchants,  soldiers,  adventurers  of  every  sort,  as  well  as  Go- 
vernment officials  and  an  occasional  missionary,  and  we  are  not 
surprised  to  learn  that  the  confinement,  hardships,  and  priva- 
tions of  the  seafaring  life,  the  enforced  idleness,  the  bad  food, 
the  close  lodging,  the  fierce  climate  to  be  passed  through,  as 
well  as  the  excitement  of  anticipated  adventures,  the  hopes  of 
riches  or  advancement,  and  the  recklessness  produced  in  wild 
natures  by  the  near  neighbourhood  of  danger  from  the  sea  or 
from  some  sudden  disaster,  not  to  speak  of  warfare,  worked 
rather  upon  the  bad  elements  in  that  strange  society  than  on 
the  good,  and  made  it  more  irreligious  than  ever  instead  of 
more  pious.  The  restraints  of  ordinary  life  were  thrown  off,  and 
the  license  which  was  the  condition  of  existence  in  India  was 
too  often  anticipated  on  the  voyage. 

The  company  in  which  Francis  Xavier  and  his  two  asso- 
ciates sailed  was  to  some  extent  exceptional.  The  Governor- 
was  a  thoroughly  religious  man,  and  the  same  may  very  likely 
have  been  the  case  with  many  of  the  officers ;  but  we  cannot 
expect  the  crew,  the  soldiers,  and  the  adventurers,  as  a  rule,  to 
have  been  above  the  average.  Francis  was  entirely  in  a  new 
sphere.  Hitherto  he  had  lived  either  with  students  like  himself, 
before  he  joined  Ignatius,  or  with  his  own  religious  brethren. 
Even  in  the  Court  of  Portugal  he  could  have  seen  but  little  of 

2  Don  Martin  Alfonso  Sousa  is  usually  called  Viceroy  in  the  Lives  of  St. 
Francis,  but  he  was  one  of  the  Governors  of  India  who  had  not  the  additional 
title  of  Viceroy. 

Voyage  to  India.  1 1 1 

the  rough  selfish  greed  and  brutal  vice  which  so  often  charac- 
terize the  class  of  men  who  seek  their  fortunes  in  a  new  world 
after  having  failed  at  home,  and  if  he  had  known  the  lower 
strata  of  humanity  as  an  active  preacher  and  confessor  in  Italy, 
and  in  the  prisons  and  hospitals  which  he  had  always  made  it 
his  business  to  frequent,  at  least  he  had  never  been  brought 
into  that  close  contact  with  rude  boisterous  license  of  every 
kind  which  was  inevitable  to  him  now  that  he  was  cooped  up 
for  a  six  months'  voyage  within  the  planks  of  a  galleon  with 
nine  hundred  or  more  of  his  fellowbeings,  whose  reasons  for 
the  long  and  dangerous  voyage  which  made  them  his  com- 
panions were  so  very  different  from  those  by  which  he  was 
moved.  He  was  of  a  refined,  delicate,  even  haughty,  nature, 
and  we  see  in  his  earlier  letters  some  traces  of  what  might  be 
thought  to  have  been  severity  of  judgment  as  to  even  the  or- 
dinary secular  life,  if  it  were  not  so  evidently  the  fruit  of  his 
own  intense  conviction  of  the  reality  of  the  maxims  of  faith, — 
perhaps  also  of  the  recollection  of  the  struggle  which  it  had 
once  cost  him  to  surrender  himself  to  their  guidance.  We 
might  have  expected  many  men  of  the  same  character  with  St. 
Francis  to  shut  themselves  up  in  their  cabin  during  the  voyage, 
and  hold  as  little  intercourse  as  possible  with  the  strange,  wild, 
coarse,  and  violent  world  around  them. 

It  was,  however,  on  this  voyage  that  Francis  first  began  the 
practice  of  what  has  been  called  *  Apostolical  conversation,' 
which  he  afterwards  never  intermitted  for  the  rest  of  his  life 
wherever  he  had  occasion  for  it.  It  had  been,  as  we  have  said, 
the  great  weapon  of  Ignatius  :  it  had  been  the  means  by  which 
Francis  himself  had  been  won  to  the  pursuit  of  the  greater  glory 
of  God.  It  was  practised  with  the  most  careful  and  prayerful 
study  by  Peter  Favre,  as  we  find  from  his  own  notes,  and  it 
now  became  one  of  the  most  successful  instruments  of  the  sal- 
vation and  improvement  of  others  in  the  hands  of  his  dear 
friend  and  brother  to  whom  the  Indies  had  been  committed  as 
the  field  of  his  Apostolate.  Many  years  later,  a  Portuguese 
gentleman  happened  to  find  himself  in  the  same  vessel  with 
Francis.     He  had  long  been  desirous  of  knowing  him,  on  ac- 

,112  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

count  of  his  great  reputation  for  sanctity  :  on  asking  which  he 
was,  he  was  shown  a  person  standing  in  a  group  of  men  round 
a  table  where  a  game  of  chess  was  going  on.  He  was  talking 
with  the  soldiers,  the  crew,  the  merchants'  clerks,  and  others, 
of  whom  the  crowd  was  made  up,  at  his  ease  with  all,  and  all 
at  their  ease  with  him.  The  gentleman  was  scandalized,  and 
declared  to  a  friend  that  the  Padre  Santo,  as  he  was  called,  was 
just  like  any  other  priest.  At  the  end  of  the  voyage,  however, 
he  sent  a  servant  to  follow  and  see  what  became  of  him. 
Francis  went  aside  into  a  wood  and  began  to  pray,  and  the 
servant  soon  ran  to  call  his  master  to  see  the  Saint  in  an  ecstasy 
lifted  from  the  ground  in  his  prayers. ^ 

There  was  ample  field  for  his  zeal  on  board  the  ship  in 
which  he  sailed — which  carried,  as  we  are  told,  very  nearly  a 
thousand  persons.  He  mixed  freely  with  all,  especially  with 
those  who  had  most  need  of  him — and  it  was  soon  found  that 
he  had  won  upon  them  so  far  that  the  habit  of  swearing  was 
going  out,  and  that  many  enmities  had  been  made  up.  He 
began  to  hear  confessions  regularly  and  frequently.  Under 
the  Line  the  scurvy  broke  out  so  violently  that  it  became  a 
sort  of  plague  :  friends  neglected  friends,  the  sick  were  left  to 
themselves,  the  medicine  ran  short,  there  was  no  one  but 
Francis  and  his  companions  to  tend  the  sufferers.  Francis 
washed  them  and  their  linen,  dressed  their  food,  and  fed  them 
with  his  own  hands.  He  had  a  little  cabin  of  his  own,  but  he 
gave  it  up  to  the  sick.  He  had  refused  to  take  his  meals  at 
the  Governor's  table,  but  not  to  receive  the  daily  portion  of 
food  which  was  sent  him  from  it :  this  he  divided  among  the 
sick.  On  Sundays  he  preached  on  deck,  the  Governor  himself 
attending  the  sermon. 

Francis  himself  appears  to  have  suffered  greatly  from  sick- 
ness in  the  first  part  of  the  voyage,  which  was  lengthened  be- 
yond the  usual  time,  probably  by  the  calm  which  often  detains 
vessels  near  the  Equator.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  Portuguese 

3  This  anecdote  will  be  found  in  Massei,  1.  ii.  c.  15,  p.  471.  The  gentleman 
was  a  famous  Captain,  Don  Diego  di  Norona,  whose  name  often  occurs  in  the 
Asia  Portuguesa  of  Faria  y  Sousa.     See  t.  ii.  p.  2,  ch.  x. 

Voyage  to  India,  1 1 

navigators  to  sail  at  a  distance  round  the  Cape,  so  far  south- 
wards as  to  reach  a  latitude  where  the  cold  was  sensibly  felt. 
The  ship  did  not  reach  Mozambique  till  late  in  August,  at  a 
time  when  under  ordinary  circumstances  it  would  have  been 
approaching  Goa;  and  the  lateness  of  the  season  as  well  as 
the  prevalence  of  sickness  determined  the  Governor  to  win- 
ter in  the  island.  The  letter  which  we  are  about  to  insert 
gives  some  account  of  the  island,'*  and  of  the  number  of  sick 
in  the  hospital  where  Francis  took  up  his  quarters.  He  makes 
no  mention,  however,  of  his  own  sufferings  from  a  violent 
fever,  which  we  learn  from  the  testimony  of  others.  He  would 
not  accept  of  the  better  lodging  and  care  which  were  offered 
to  him  by  many  of  the  Portuguese  inhabitants,  and  took  his 
chance  with  the  rest  of  the  sick  in  the  hospital.  Indeed,  the 
physician  found  him,  in  the  height  of  his  fever,  visiting  and 
instructing  the  others.  On  one  occasion  when  he  was  ordered 
to  bed,  he  is  said  to  have  answered  humbly  that  he  was  anxi- 
ous about  the  case  of  one,  who  had  not  made  his  peace  with 
God,  and  that  as  soon  as  he  had  attended  him,  he  would  take 
rest  himself.  It  was  a  poor  sailor  whom  fever  had  already 
made  delirious,  and  of  whose  recovery  little  hope  could  be 
entertained.  Francis  had  him  conveyed  from  the  ship  to  his 
own  bed  :  the  next  day  the  man  was  sensible  enough  to  make 
his  confession;  but  he  died  at  night,  after  having  received  the 
sacraments,  full  of  confidence  in  God.  Francis  then  consented 
to  be  nursed  himself,  and  was  soon  able  to  resume  his  usual 
labours.  Another  anecdote  of  his  stay  at  Mozambique  has 
been  preserved  to  us.  While  he  was  attending  the  sick  in  the 
hospital,  news  was  brought  him  of  the  sudden  death  of  a  boy 
who  had  sailed  in  the  Governor's  ship  with  him.  Xavier  asked 
whether  he  had  attended  the  Christian  doctrine — as  the  teach- 
ing 01  the  Catechism  is  called  amang  Catholics.  He  was  filled 
with  griei  and  selfreproach  when  he  was  told  that  the  boy  had 
apparently  never  had  any  instruction,  and  laid  the  Governor, 
who  strove  to  console  him  by  saying  that  as  he  had  never 

4  The  Portuguese  settlement  was  fixed  in  a  small  coral  island  close  to  the 
shore,  which  was  well  fortified,  and  contained  large  public  buildings. 
VOL.  I.  I 

114  S^'  Francis  Xavier, 

known  of  the  lad's  ignorant  state  he  could  not  be  responsible 
for  it,  that  the  simple  fact  that  there  should  be  any  one  in  the 
same  ship  with  him  in  need  of  instruction  without  his  knowing 
it  was  a  reproach  to  him. 

We  may  leave  the  further  details  of  the  voyage  to  India 
to  be  gathered  from  the  following  letter,  written  from  Goa  some 
months  after  his  arrival  at  that  city.^ 

(x.)   To  the  Society  at  R 


May  the  grace  and  love  of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord  always 
help  and  favour  us  !    Amen. 

When  on  the  point  of  sailing  from  Lisbon  with  Father  Paul 
and  Francis  Mancias,  I  wrote  to  you  a  long  letter  about  our 
voyage  to  India.  And  now,  as  you  asked  me  to  let  you  know 
of  our  arrival  in  India  as  soon  as  I  should  have  leisure  to  do 
so,  I  send  you  this  account  of  our  voyage.  We  left  Lisbon 
on  the  7th  April  1541,  and  reached  India  the  6th  May  of  this 
the  following  year,  having  thus  spent  a  year  and  more  in  the 
voyage,  which  is  generally  made  in  about  six  months.  We 
sailed  in  the  same  vessel  with  the  Governor,  who  treated  us 
the  whole  time  with  great  consideration  :  and  we  had  all  of 
us  fair  enough  health.  All  the  time  there  was  no  lack  of  con- 
fessions to  hear,  either  of  the  sick,  or  others,  and  we  never 
missed  preaching  on  the  Sundays.  I  count  it  a  great  favour 
from  God  that,  while  I  was  passing  over  the  realm  of  fishes,  I 
found  men  to  whom  to  announce  the  Divine  mysteries  and  to 
administer  the  sacrament  of  penance,  quite  as  necessary  on  sea 
as  on  land. 

In  the  course  of  the  voyage  we  touched  at  an  island  called 
Mozambique,  where  we  wintered  for  six  months,  together  with 
the  whole  multitude  of  persons  belonging  to  five  large  vessels. 
There  are  two  cities  in  the  island,  one  garrisoned  by  the  Por- 

^  A  close  inspection  of  this  and  the  other  longer  letters  of  Francis  Xavier 
will  enable  the  reader  easily  to  detect  that  they  were  written  at  intervals,  not  all 
at  once.  Thus  in  the  present  letter  he  relates  his  arrival  at  Goa,  and  then  goes 
back  to  MeHnda  and  Socotra. 

Voyage  to  India.  115 

tuguese,  the  other  occupied  by  friendly  Mussulmans.  While 
we  were  wintering  there  a  great  number  of  persons  fell  ill, 
and  as  many  as  eighty  died.  We  quartered  ourselves  in  the 
hospital  all  the  time,  employing  ourselves  in  the  service  of  the 
sick.  Father  Paul  and  Mancias  waited  on  their  bodily  neces- 
sities, I  attended  to  their  souls  also,  hearing  confessions  con- 
tinually and  giving  communion,  but,  alone  as  I  was,  I  could 
not  do  all  that  was  wanted  for  them.  On  Sundays  I  preached 
to  a  very  large  audience,  as  the  Governor  himself  attended :  and 
I  was  also  often  called  away  to  hear  confessions  elsewhere. 
So  that  all  the  time  we  were  at  Mozambique  we  had  always 
plenty  to  do.  The  Governor,  his  suite,  and  all  the  soldiers 
showed  us  great  courtesy,  and  by  the  favour  of  God  we  spent 
those  six  months  greatly  to  the  satisfaction  of  all  and  with  much 
spiritual  profit. 

Mozambique  is  about  900  leagues  distant  from  India.  The 
Governor  was  desirous  of  pursuing  his  voyage  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible, but  owing  to  the  season  there  were  still  a  great  number 
of  persons  ill.  So  he  asked  that  some  of  us  might  remain  in 
the  island  to  help  the  sick  who  were  to  be  left  there,  and  who 
could  not  at  once  continue  the  voyage  on  account  of  their 
health.  As  he  thought  it  best,  Father  Paul  and  Mancias  re- 
mained. I  accompanied  the  Governor,  who  was  himself  by 
no  means  well,  that  I  might  hear  his  confession,  in  case  his 
malady  got  worse  and  led  to  anything  more  serious.  So  it  is 
now  some  time  since  I  reached  India  in  his  company,  and  I 
am  now  daily  expecting  my  companions  by  the  vessels  which 
generally  arrive  from  Mozambique  in  September.  We  are 
now  in  the  fifth  month  since  we  arrived  at  Goa,  the  capital  of 
India.  It  is  a  fine-looking  city,  entirely  in  the  hands  of  Chris- 
tians. It  has  a  convent  of  Franciscans,  really  very  numerous, 
a  magnificent  cathedral  with  a  large  number  of  canons,  and 
several  other  churches.  There  is  good  reason  for  thanking  God 
that  the  Christian  religion  flourishes  so  much  in  this  distant 
land  in  the  midst  of  heathen. 

Our  voyage  from  Mozambique  to  Goa  lasted  two  months 
and  more.    We  stopped  ior  a  few  days  at  Melinda,  a  port  in- 

1 1 6  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

habited  by  Mussulmans  who  are  friendly  to  the  Portuguese,  of 
whom  there  are  some  there,  chiefly  merchants.  If  any  of  them 
happen  to  end  their  days  there,  they  are  buried  in  large  mounds, 
which  are  to  be  seen  here  and  there  with  crosses  over  them 
which  mark  them  out.  The  Portuguese  have  erected  near  the 
city  a  large  and  very  handsome  stone  cross,^  which  is  gilt  all 
over.  I  cannot  express  to  you  what  joy  I  felt  in  looking  at  it. 
It  seemed  like  the  might  of  the  Cross  appearing  victorious  in 
the  midst  of  the  dominion  of  the  unbelievers. 

The  King  of  Melinda  came  on  board  our  ship  to  compli- 
ment the  Governor,  and  received  him  with  kindness  and  friend- 
liness. While  I  was  at  Melinda  we  celebrated  the  funeral  of 
a  man  who  had  died  on  board  our  ship,  and  we  had  the  full 
service  for  him,  much  to  the  approval  of  the  Mussulmans,  who 
admired  our  funeral  ceremonies  very  much. 

One  of  the  principal  Mahometan  inhabitants  of  the  city 
asked  me  whether  our  temples  in  which  we  go  to  pray  were 
generally  filled  with  Christian  people,  and  how  fervid  and  dili- 
gent Christians  were  in  worshipping  Christ ;  for,  said  he,  all 
piety  had  long  ago  grown  cold  among  his  own  people,  and  he 
wished  to  know  whether  the  same  was  usual  among  Christian 
men.  There  were  seventeen  mosques  at  Melinda,  but  three 
only  were  attended  and  even  those  by  very  few.  The  good 
man  was  quite  perplexed,  and  knew  not  what  to  make  of  it, 
having  no  idea  how  it  was  that  his  own  people  had  lost  all  reli- 
gion. He  said  it  could  only  be  on  account  of  some  great  sin 
of  their  own.  We  had  a  great  deal  of  conversation  about  this, 
and  I  told  him  that  God,  most  Faithful  and  True,  held  the 
misbelievers  and  their  prayers  in  abomination,  and  so  willed 
that  their  worship,  which  He  rejected  altogether,  should  come 
to  nought.  My  friend,  who  had  very  difterent  notions  fronx 
mine,  was  not  satisfied,  with  this,  and  then  a  Saracen  Caciz — 

^  This  erection  of  crosses  seems  to  have  been  a  practice  among  the  Portu- 
guese navigators.  Vasco  de  Gama,  in  his  celebrated  voyage  in  1497-99,  when 
he  first  rounded  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope  and  reached  India,  is  said  to  have 
set  up  six  crosses  at  different  places,  one  of  which,  called  after  the  Holy  Ghost, 
was  at  Melinda,  which  town  he  was  the  first  of  his  countrymen  to  visit.  See 
Asia  Portvguesa,  by  Faria  y  Sousa,  Eng.  Trans,  t.  i.  p.  50,  comp.  42. 

Voyage  to  India.  iiy 

a  Caciz  is  a  teacher  of  the  Mahometan  law — came  up,  a  man 
of  very  eminent '  learning,  and  he  declared  that  if  Mahomet 
did  not  appear  again  on  earth  to  visit  them  within  two  years, 
he  himself  should  renounce  that  religion.  One  sees  in  such 
cases  in  what  anxiety  and  despair  the  life  of  unbelievers  and 
wicked  men  is  so  often  passed :  and  indeed  this  in  itself  is  a 
blessing  sent  them  by  God,  that  they  may  be  thereby  warned 
of  their  state  and  led  to  conversion. 

After  sailing  from  Melinda  we  touched  at  Socotra,  an  island 
about  a  hundred  miles  in  circumference.  It  is  a  wild  country 
with  no  produce,  no  corn,  no  rice,  no  millet,  no  wine,  no  fruit 
trees :  in  short,  altogether  sterile  and  arid,  except  that  it  has 
plenty  of  dates,  out  of  which  they  make  bread,  and  also  abounds 
ih  cattle.''  The  island  is  exposed  to  great  heat  from  the  sun ; 
the  people  are  Christian  in  name  rather  than  in  reality,  won- 
derfully ignorant  and  rude  :  they  cannot  read  or  write.    They 

7  Socotra  is  here  described  with  very  fair  accuracy.  Its  real  length  is  70 
miles,  by  an  average  breadth  of  15.  The  first  Portuguese  to  visit  it  were  Tris- 
tan de  Cufia  and  others  under  his  command  in  1508.  The  old  Portuguese 
account,  Faria  y  Sousa,  t.  ii.  p.  2,  ch.  i.,  says,  '  Athwart  the  middle  of  it  runs 
a  ridge  of  hills  as  high  as  the  clouds,  yet  not  free  from  the  sand  of  the  shore, 
which  is  carried  up  to  the  very  top  by  the  north  winds,  and  it  is  therefore  barren, 
not  only  of  plants  but  trees,  only  some  small  valleys  that  are  under  shelter  of 
those  winds.  .  .  .  Those  valleys  that  are  sheltered  from  the  sand  produce  apple 
and  palm  trees,  and  the  best  aloes,  which  for  its  excellency  is  called  Zocotorinos. 
The  common  food  is  maize,  or  Indian  wheat,  tamarinds,  and  milk.  They  are 
all  Jacobite  Christians,  as  the  Ethiopians.  The  men  use  the  names  of  the  Apos- 
tles, the  women  chiefly  that  of  Mary.  They  worship  the  Cross,  which  they  wear 
on  their  clothes,  and  set  up  in  their  churches,  where  they  pray  thrice  a  day  in 
the  Chaldean  language  alternatively  as  in  a  choir  :  they  receive  but  one  wife, 
use  circumcision,  fasting  and  tithes.  The  men  comely,  the  women  so  manly 
that  they  follow  the  war,  and  live  like  Amazons.  .  .  .  Their  clothing,  some  cloth 
and  skins,  their  habitation  in  caves,  their  weapons,  stones  and  slings,  .  .  .  They 
were  subject  to  the  Arabian  King  of  Caxem.  Cuila  found  here  an  indifferent 
fort,  not  ill  manned  nor  unprovided.'  The  writer  then  goes  on  to  relate  the 
brave  feat  of  arms  by  which  the  fort  was  carried,  and  all  the  Moors  put  to  death, 
except  two.  'The  natives,  who  had  kept  off,  hearing  of  our  success,  came  with 
their  wives  and  children  to  thank  our  commander  for  delivering  them  from  the 
heavy  yoke  of  those  infidels ;  and  he,  to  their  great  satisfaction,  received  them 
under  the  protection  of  the  King  of  Portugal.  The  mosque  was  cleared  and 
made  a  church  of  our  Lady  of  Victories,  and  many  were  there  baptized.'  This 
confirms  the  statement  in  the  letter  oi  St.  Francis  about  the  absence  of  baptism 
among  these  nominal  Christians. 

1 1 8  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

have  consequently  no  records  of  any  kind.  Still  they  pride 
themselves  on  being  Christians.  They  have  churches,  crosses, 
and  lamps.  Each  village  has  its  Caciz,  who  answers  to  the 
Parish  Priest.  These  Caciz  know  no  more  of  reading  or  writ- 
ing than  the  rest;  they  have  not  even  any  books,  and  only 
know  a  few  prayers  by  heart.  They  go  to  their  churches  four 
times  a  day — at  midnight,  at  daybreak,  in  the  afternoon,  and 
in  the  evening.  They  use  no  bells  ;  but  wooden  rattles,  such 
as  we  use  during  Holy  Week,  serve  to  call  the  people  toge- 
ther. Not  even  the  Caciz  themselves  understand  the  prayers 
which  they  recite  :  which  are  in  a  foreign  language  (I  think 
Chaldean).  They  render  special  honours  to  the  Apostle  St. 
Thomas,  claiming  to  be  descendants  of  the  Christians  begot- 
ten to  Jesus  Christ  by  that  Apostle  in  these  countries.  In 
the  prayers  I  have  mentioned  they  often  repeat  a  word  which 
is  like  our  alleluia.  The  Caciz  never  baptize  any  one,  nor  do 
they  know  the  least  what  Baptism  is.  Whilst  I  was  there  I 
baptized  a  number  of  children,  with  the  utmost  goodwill  of 
their  parents.  Most  of  them  showed  great  eagerness  to  bring 
their  children  to  me,  and  made  such  liberal  offerings  out  of 
their  poverty  of  what  they  had  to  give,  that  I  should  have 
been  afraid  to  refuse  the  dates  which  they  pressed  upon  me 
with  such  great  goodwill.  They  also  begged  me  over  and 
over  again  to  remain  with  them,  promising  that  every  single 
person  in  the  island  would  be  baptized.  So  I  begged  the 
Governor  to  let  me  remain  where  I  found  a  harvest  so  ripe 
and  ready  to  be  gathered  in.  But  as  the  island  has  no  Por- 
tuguese garrison,  and  it  is  exposed  to  the  ravages  of  the  Mus- 
sulmans, the  Governor  would  not  hear  of  leaving  me,  fearing 
that  I  might  be  carried  off  as  a  slave.  So  he  told  me  that  I 
should  soon  be  among  other  Christians  who  were  not  less, 
perhaps  more,  in  need  than  the  Socotrians  of  instruction  and 
spiritual  assistance,  and  amongst  whom  my  work  would  be 
better  spent. 

One  day  I  went  to  Vespers  as  recited  by  the  Caciz ;  they 
lasted  an  hour.  There  was  no  end  to  their  repetitions  of 
prayers  and  of  incensations  :  the  churches  are  always  lull  of 

Voyage  to  India,  1 1 9 

incense.  Though  their  Caciz  have  wives,  they  are  extremely 
strict  in  regard  to  abstinence  and  fasting.  When  they  fast 
they  abstain  not  only  from  flesh  meat  and  milk,  but  from  fish 
also,  of  which  they  have  a  great  supply.  So  strict  is  their  rule 
that  they  would  rather  die  than  taste  anything  ot  the  kind. 
They  eat  nothing  but  vegetables  and  palm  dates.  They  have 
two  Lents,  during  which  they  fast;  one  ol  these  lasts  two 
months.  If  any  one  is  profane  enough  to  eat  meat  during 
that  time,  he  is  not  allowed  to  enter  the  church. 

In  a  village  in  the  island  there  was  a  Mussulman  woman 
the  mother  of  two  young  children.  Not  knowing  that  their 
father  was  a  Mussulman,  I  was  going  to  give  them  baptism, 
when  they  ran  off,  all  of  a  sudden,  to  their  mother  to  complain 
that  I  was  trying  to  baptize  them.  The  mother  came  to  say 
that  she  would  never  let  me  baptize  her  children.  She  was  a 
Mahometan,  and  would  never  have  her  children  made  Christians. 
Upon  this  the  people  of  Socotra  began  to  cry  out  that  the 
Mussulmans  were  unworthy  of  so  great  a  blessing ;  that  they 
would  not  let  them  be  baptized  however  much  they  desired  it, 
and  that  they  would  never  permit  any  Mussulman  to  become 
a  Christian.     Such  is  their  hatred  of  Mussulmans. 

We  set  sail  from  the  island  at  the  end  of  February,  and  the 
6th  of  May,  as  I  have  told  you,  we  arrived  at  Goa. 

[The  five  vessels  which  we  left  at  Mozambique  sailed  thence 
in  March.  One  of  these,  the  largest  of  all,  and  laden  with 
valuable  merchandise,  was  wrecked  and  lost.  The  crew  were 
saved ;  the  other  four  arrived  safe.^] 

Here  at  Goa  I  live  in  the  Hospital,  administering  to  the 
sick  the  Sacraments  of  confession  and  comrafunion.     But,  be- 

8  These  few  lines  must  have  been  inserted  in  the  letter  by  some  copyist.  St. 
Francis  speaks  a  little  further  on  of  the  arrival  oi  F.  Paul  and  Mancias,  who 
must  have  been  on  board  these  vessels,  as  still  expected  by  him.  He  is  to  leave 
for  Cape  Comorin,  and  the  Governor  promises  to  send  them  after  him.  The 
ship  which  was  lost  seems  to  have  been  the  largest  of  the  whole  fleet,  irom 
which  the  Governor  transferred  himseh  and  his  suite  on  leaving  Mozambique. 
It  is  said  (see  Massei,  1.  i.  ch.  iii.  p.  58)  that  St.  Francis  always  spoke  01  the 
ship  as  if  she  were  destined  to  some  great  calamity.  Predictions  01  this  kind 
are  irequent  in  his  hfe. 

I20  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

sides  the  sick,  such  numbers  of  other  persons  want  me  to  hear 
their  confessions,  that,  if  I  could  be  in  ten  different  places  at 
once,  I  should  never  lack  penitents.  After  attending  to  the 
sick,  I  gave  my  morning  to  hearing  confessions :  after  mid- 
day I  used  to  go  to  the  prisons,  and  after  giving  the  prisoners 
instructions  as  to  making  their  confessions,  I  heard  the  con- 
fessions of  their  whole  life.  When  I  had  got  through  this,  I 
went  to  the  Church  of  our  Lady,  which  is  near  the  Hospital, 
and  there  I  began  to  teach  the  children — as  many  as  three 
hundred  were  often  present — their  prayers,  the  Creed,  and  the 
Ten  Commandments.  Upon  this  the  Bishop  of  Goa  ordered 
the  same  to  be  done  in  the  other  churches,  and  it  still  con- 
tinues to  be  practised.  The  fruits  gained  from  it  surpass  all 
expectation,  and  have  delighted  the  whole  city. 

Whilst  I  remained  at  our  Lady's  Church  I  used  to  preach 
in  the  morning  on  Sundays  and  holidays  to  the  people  pro- 
miscuously. In  the  afternoon  I  explained  the  articles  of  the 
Creed  to  the  natives,  and  the  crowd  of  hearers  was  so  great 
that  the  church  could  hardly  contain  them.  I  afterwards 
taught  them  the  Lord's  Prayer,  the  Hail  Mary,  the  Apostles' 
Creed,  and  the  Ten  Commandments  of  the  Law  of  God.  On 
Sundays  I  used  to  say  mass  for  the  lepers,  whose  hospital  is 
close  to  the  city,  heard  their  confessions,  and  gave  them  com- 
munion. There  was  not  one  of  them  who  did  not  approach 
the  sacraments :  and  after  the  first  sermon  I  preached  to  them 
they  were  all  devoted  to  me. 

I  am  now  setting  out  by  the  Governor's  order  for  a  coun- 
try where  there  is  reason  to  hope  that  many  will  become 
Christians.  Three  students  from  the  same  country  go  with 
me,  two  of  whom  are  deacons,  fairly  acquainted  with  Portu- 
guese, as  well  as  with  their  native  tongue  :  the  third  has  only 
received  minor  orders.  I  am  in  good  hopes  that  my  labours 
there  may  produce  precious  fruits  for  our  holy  religion.  As 
soon  as  Fathers  Paul  and  Mancias  arrive  from  Mozambique, 
the  Governor  has  promised  to  send  them  to  join  me.  The 
place  I  speak  of  is  called  Cape  Comorin,  six  hundred  miles 
distant  from  Goa.     I  pray  God,  that  for  the  sake  of  your 

Labours  at  Goa.  121 

prayers,  He  may  be  pleased  to  forget  my  sins  and  to  grant  me 
all  the  grace  I  am  in  need  of,  that  I  may  do  Him  good  service 
in  those  parts. 

All  the  sufferings  of  the  long  voyage,  all  the  charge  of 
bearing  the  sins  of  others  while  one  has  to  bear  the  weight  of 
his  own,  the  having  to  live  a  long  time  together  among  unbe- 
lievers, and  the  extreme  heat  of  the  sun  in  this  climate — all 
these  trials,  if  borne  as  they  ought  to  be  borne  for  the  love  of 
God,  turn  out  to  be  very  great  consolations  and  the  subject  of 
many  and  intense  spiritual  delights.  I  am  perfectly  persuaded 
in  my  own  mind  that  the  lovers  of  the  Cross  of  our  Lord 
Christ  consider  a  life  of  trials  of  this  sort  a  blessed  hfe,  and 
that  to  fly  from  or  to  be  without  the  Cross  is  death  to  them. 
For  can  there  be  a  more  cruel  death  than  to  live  without  Jesus 
Christ,  after  having  once  known  Him,  or  to  forsake  Him  for 
the  sake  of  following  our  own  desires?  I  assure  you,  dear 
friends,  no  cross  is  to  be  compared  to  such  a  cross  as  that. 
On  the  other  hand,  how  blessed  it  is  to  live  dying  a  daily 
death,  breaking  our  own  wills,  that  we  may  seek,  not  what  is 
our  own,  but  what  belongs  to  Jesus  Christ ! 

And  now,  dearest  brothers,  I  entreat  and  conjure  you  by 
God  to  write  to  me  about  every  single  member  of  our  Society, 
that  as  I  have  no  hope  that  I  shall  see  them  in  this  life,  as  St. 
Paul  sa-ys,  facie  ad faciem^  I  may  at  least  see  them/<?r  cenigma, 
in  a  dark  manner,  that  is  by  means  of  your  letters.  Unworthy 
as  I  am,  do  not  refuse  me  this  boon.  Remember  that  God  has 
made  you  such,  that  I  have  the  right  to  expect  great  conso- 
lation from  you,  and  to  receive  it.  Give  me  diligent  instruc- 
tions what  method  I  should  pursue  in  dealins;  with  the  heathen 
and  the  Mussulmans  to  whom  I  am  sent,  for  I  look  forward 
to  learning  from  God,  through  what  you  write  to  me,  how  I  am 
to  make  them  Christians  without  difficulty,  and  I  expect  to 
come  to  see,  from  your  instructions,  and  so  to  correct,  any 
blunders  I  may  commit  while  I  am  waiting  to  hear  from  you. 
Meanwhile  I  don't  despair,  that  by  the  merits  and  prayers  of 
our  holy  Mother  Church,  on  which  I  rely  greatly,  and  through 
the  prayers  of  you  and  others  her  living  members,  our  Lord 

122  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

Christ  may  deign  to  sow  the  seed  of  the  Gospel  by  means  of 
me,  wicked  servant  though  I  am,  in  the  land  of  the  heathen, 
more  especially  since,  as  He  uses  so  poor  a  creature  as  I  am 
for  so  great  a  work,  it  will  put  to  shame  men  who  are  born 
with  capacities  for  great  things,  as  well  as  be  a  spur  to  others 
of  weak  courage,  when  they  see  me  who  am  but  dust  and  ashes 
and  the  vilest  of  men  made  to  bear  witness  from  my  own  ex- 
perience to  the  extreme  scarcity  which  here  exists  of  Apos- 
tolical labourers.  Ah,  how  gladly  would  I  make  myself  the 
slave  during  my  whole  life  of  any  who  would  come  out  here 
and  devote  themselves  to  labour  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord 
of  all! 

And  thus,  then,  I  end  my  letter,  imploring  God,  of  His 
infinite  mercy,  to  gather  us  all  one  day  into  that  blessed  joy 
of  His  for  which  we  are  made,  and  here  in  this  life  to  increase 
our  strength,  so  that  we  may  labour  in  His  service  with  the 
diligence  which  it  deserves,  and  thus  make  ourselves  entirely 
and  altogether  conformed  unto  His  holy  decrees  and  will. 

Your  useless  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Francis  Xavier. 

Goa,  September  i8th,  1542. 

It  may  here  be  remarked  that  this  letter,  which  is  a  fair 
specimen  of  those  which  Francis  Xavier  wrote  from  time  to 
time  during  the  remaining  years  of  his  life  to  his  friends  in 
Europe,  leaves  out,  as  might  be  expected,  the  circumstances 
most  to  his  own  personal  credit.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  re- 
peat that  nothing  else  could  have  been  expected,  not  only  front 
a  person  of  singular  holiness,  but  even  from  a  person  of  ordi- 
nary modesty  and  good  sense,  and  that  few  things  can  be  more 
absurd  than  to  question  the  many  personal  details  which  have 
been  added  to  our  knowledge  by  the  companions  and  friends 
of  St.  Francis,  on  the  ground  that  he  himself  makes  no  men- 
tion of  them.  We  may  add,  also,  that  his  life,  even  on  board 
ship,  and  much  more  when  he  was  once  launched  on  his 
missionary  career  in  India,  was  a  life  of  extraordinary  labour 
and  active  occupation,  and  that  it  is  really  wonderful  that  he 

Labours  at  Goa,  123 

should  have  found  time  to  write  letters  so  long  and  so  full  in 
detail  as  many  that  remain  to  us,  which,  however,  represent 
only  a  percentage  of  the  whole  number  which  he  is  known  to 
have  written. 

Before  we  proceed  further,  a  few  words  may  be  added  as 
to  his  efforts  in  favour  of  the  inhabitants  of  Socotra.  We  do 
not  possess  the  letter  which  Francis  Xavier  wrote  to  the  King 
of  Portugal  concerning  these  islanders,  but  we  know  that  he 
represented  their  case  so  strongly,  that  a  Portuguese  fleet  was 
ordered  to  call  there  on  its  way  to  India,  and  the  island  con- 
quered from  the  Mussulmans.  At  a  later  period,  Xavier  sent 
some  members  of  the  Society  to  preach  to  the  people.^ 

It  is  not  difficult  to  believe  the  deplorable  accounts  which 
are  given  us  by  the  biographers  of  Xavier  of  the  state  of  reli- 
gion at  Goa  at  the  time  of  his  arrival  in  that  city.  The  cir- 
cumstances of  the  case  explain  them  and  almost  require  them. 
The  Portuguese  were  masters  at  Goa  and  in  a  number  of  other 
towns,  chiefly  along  the  coast,  where  their  garrisons  and  fac- 
tories were  established,  and  the  general  supremacy  of  the  Por- 
tuguese crown  was  recognized  to  a  certain  extent  by  many  of 
the  native  Princes  in  the  interior.  Goa  itself,  the  capital,  was 
a  city  of  much  beauty  and  size,  strong  in  its  insular  situation, 
possessing  fine  buildings  and  some  handsome  churches.  But 
its  population  was  a  mixture  of  Portuguese,  Mahometans,  and 
native  Indians.  The  Portuguese  were  comparatively  lew, 
though  of  course  dominant,  and  a  great  number  01  them  were 
adventurers  of  all  sorts,  merchants,  soldiers,  and  the  like,  who 
had  either  left  behind  them  in  Europe,  as  it  is  too  general  for 
Europeans  of  all  nations  to  leave  behind  them,  even  the  sem- 
blance of  outward  religion  and  morality,  or  who  had  at  all 
events  become  utterly  corrupted  by  the  temptations  ot  their 
new  position  and  the  vices  ot  their  Mussulman  neighbours,  the 
influence  of  the  climate,  and  the  ease  with  which  the  Asiatics 
under  their  dominion  lent  themselves  to  be  the  instruments 
and  victims  of  their  profligacy.    We  shall  find  in  the  course  of 

s  Turselline,  lib.  i.  ch.  xvi.  But  Bartoli,  Asia,  1.  i.  p.  439,  does  not  mention 
the  fleet,  and  puts  the  mission  of  the  preachers  after  the  death  of  Francis. 

124  St.  Fraficis  Xavier. 

the  narrative  of  the  life  of  St.  Francis  many  instances  of  highly- 
religious  officers  and  merchants,  men  really  desirous  of  advanc- 
ing the  glory  of  God  and  the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  native 
population,  and  willing  to  put  themselves  to  great  expenses 
and  to  incur  severe  dangers,  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  the 
Apostle  in  his  works  of  charity  and  zeal.  But  the  majority 
of  the  Portuguese,  even  after  the  reform  introduced  by  him, 
and  much  more  before  that  time,  seem'  to  have  been  such  in 
their  lives  and  conduct  as  to  merit  the  severe  language  in 
which  many  writers  speak  of  them.  The  Mussulmans,  and 
some  of  the  native  heathens,  were  rich  and  powerful,  impor- 
tant to  the  Portuguese  Government  on  account  of  their  num- 
bers, influence,  and  the  commerce  which  was  kept  up  through 
them,  and  they  made  no  pretence  of  hiding  their  religions  or 
desisting  from  their  most  abominable  practices  even  in  Goa 
itself.  The  lower  and  poorer  orders  among  them  were  even 
oppressed  and  persecuted  if  they  showed  any  inclination  to 
adopt  Christianity,  and  indeed  the  lives  of  the  majority  of  the 
Christians  were  such  as  to  scandalize  and  revolt  them.  Many 
of  the  Portuguese  led  the  most  licentious  lives,  as  too  many 
of  the  European  officers  and  officials  in  India  do  at  the  pre- 
sent time.  Few  Portuguese  ladies  could  venture  as  far  as  In- 
dia, and  an  almost  recognised  system  of  concubinage  prevailed 
among  the  Europeans,  who  differed  very  little  in  this  respect 
from  the  Mussulmans  themselves.  When  marriages  had  been 
contracted  the  women  had  become  Christians,  but  they  were 
extremely  ignorant  of  the  religion  which  they  had  adopted, 
and  their  children  were  growing  up  almost  entirely  without 

On  the  other  hand,  there  were  not  wanting  attempts  at 
better  things,  which,  however,  had  hitherto  failed  of  success. 
The  Bishop  of  Goa  was  an  old  Franciscan  friar  of  the  name  of 
John  Albuquerque,  a  good  and  holy  man,  but  his  jurisdiction" 
was  extremely  extensive,  embracing  the  whole  of  India  and 
the  Portuguese  settlements  in  the  East,  and  his  activity  was 
not  equal  to  his  piety  and  personal  holiness.  As  a  rule,  the 
priests  and  religious  to  be  found  in  Goa  confined  their  labours 

Labours  at  Goa,  125 

to  the  Portuguese,  and  made  few  attempts  at  the  conversion 
of  the  heathen.  We  must  remember  also,  that  in  Europe  itself, 
at  the  time  of  which  we  speak,  the  frequentation  of  the  Sacra- 
ments had  in  many  parts  died  out,  and  that,  as  we  have  men- 
tioned above,  even  in  Rome,  it  was  strange  to  go  often  to 
Communion  or  for  priests  to  preach  except  in  Lent  and  Advent, 
A  zealous  Franciscan  friar,  Diego  de  Borba,  a  disciple  of  John 
of  Avila,  had  been  four  years  in  Goa  and  had  begun  a  good 
work  in  which  he  found  many  associates,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
Indians.  A  College  had  been  founded  at  Goa,  through  his 
exertions,^^  in  which  a  large  number  of  native  boys  from  all 
parts  of  India  were  educated,  with  the  intention  that  they 
should  ultimately  become  Priests  for  their  own  countries,  or  at 
least  interpreters  and  catechists  for  other  missionaries.  The 
College  was  endowed  with  an  annual  revenue  by  the  Govern- 
ment out  of  funds  which  were  taken  away  from  the  idolatrous 
priests.  We  shall  hear  more  of  the  College,  which  was  then 
called  the  College  of  Santa  Fe,  and  afterwards  of  St.  Paul. 
There  was  also  a  flourishing  *  Confraternity  of  Mercy,'  an  insti- 
tution to  be  found  in  most  of  the  Portuguese  settlements,  de- 
voted to  works  of  active  charity.  These  were  elements  of  good 
among  the  Portuguese  of  Goa  which  only  required  the  breath 
of  Apostolic  zeal  to  quicken  them  into  life,  and  we  read  of  no 
opposition  offered  to  St.  Francis  when  he  began  the  work  of 

On  landing  at  Goa,  he  took  up  his  abode,  as  usual,  in  the 
hospital — for  a  hospital  answering,  as  we  have  already  said, 
the  purposes  of  *  poor  house'  as  well,  was  sure  to  be  found  in 
every  such  city.  He  then  went  to  the  Bishop,  and  informed 
him  of  his  mission  from  the  Pope  and  the  King — showing  him 
his  letters  and  faculties,  including  that  which  appointed  him 
Apostolical  Legate.  At  the  same  time  he  declared  that  he  had 
no  desire  or  intention  of  using  the  extraordinary  powers  con- 
ferred upon  him,  except  so  far  as  it  seemed  good  and  advisable 
to  the  Bishop  himself.     This  absolute  deference  to  the  ordi- 

^0  The  chief  founder  of  this  College  was  the  predecessor  of  Martin  Alfonso 
Sousa  as  Governor,  Don  Estevan  de  Gama,  a  son  of  the  famous  Vasco  de  Gama. 

126  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

nary  ecclesiastical  authority  was  a  fixed  principle  with  him  dur- 
ing the  whole  of  his  missionary  career,  as  it  was  also  uniformly 
insisted  upon  by  St.  Ignatius  in  Europe.  Francis  adopted  the 
principle  not  merely  out  of  prudence,  but  in  order  that  his 
work  might  have  the  blessing  of  obedience  upon  it  as  well  as 
that  of  perfect  union  with  the  representatives  of  Divine  autho- 
rity in  the  Church. 

We  may  also  notice  here,  at  the  outset  of  his  career  in  the 
East,  other  features  of  the  method  which  he  uniformly  pur- 
sued, when  it  was  possible,  in  the  work  of  evangelizing  the 
populations  to  whom  he  was  sent.  The  practice  of  personal 
poverty,  and  of  spending  a  large  part  of  the  night  in  prayer, 
while  the  day  was  given  to  active  works  of  piety  and  charity, 
the  devotion  of  his  first  care  to  those  who  most  closely  re- 
sembled our  Lord  in  His  sufi"ering  life,  the  sick,  the  lepers,  and 
the  prisoners,  and  a  peculiar  attention  to  the  instruction  of 
children  and  the  most  ignorant,  are  some  of  those  features 
which  are  copied  directly  from  the  example  and  precepts  of 
our  Lord. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  add,  that  the  good  Bishop's  heart 
was  won  at  once  by  the  humility  and  zeal  of  the  new  Apostle, 
and  that  from  the  first  he  became  the  fast  friend  of  Francis. 
Indeed,  the  whole  city  was  soon  devoted  to  him,  and  in  the 
space  of  five  months  a  very  great  change  for  the  better  in  mat- 
ters of  religion  was  the  fruit  of  his  labours.  The  particulars 
given  in  the  letter  last  cited  may  serve  as  a  summary  of  these 
happy  results.  A  few  details  have  been  added  by  his  bio- 
graphers, gleaned  from  the  memories  of  those  who  were  at  Goa 
at  the  time.  The  Governor,  a  pious  and  earnest  man,  as  we 
have  seen,  took  from  Francis  the  custom  of  visiting  the  hos- 
pital and  prison  in  person  once  a  week,  and  this  custom  was 
afterwards  recommended  by  the  King  to  his  successor.  We 
are  also  told  of  Francis'  manner  of  adapting  himself  to  the 
character  of  the  various  persons,  whom  by  private  conversation 
he  endeavoured  to  win  to  a  more  Christian  life,  sometimes  ad- 
monishing them  with  the  greatest  gentleness  and  aftability,  at 
other  times  putting  the  great  truths  of  eternity,  ot  death,  judg- 

Labours  at  Goa,  127 

ment  and  hell  before  them  in  the  strongest  and  most  terrible 
language.  In  this  way  a  great  number  were  induced  to  make 
their  confession  after  a  long  period  of  disorderly  life,  to  break 
off  unlawful  connections,  or  to  render  them  lawful  by  marriage, 
as  well  as  to  make  due  restitution  of  unjust  gains.  The  pecu- 
liar position  of  the  Portuguese  in  India  made  the  first  of  these 
kinds  of  disorders  the  most  difficult  to  remedy  in  the  majority 
of  cases.  Turselline,  the  first  and  in  some  respects  the  best 
biographer  of  St.  Francis  Xavier,  has  summed  up  so  happily 
the  tradition  of  his  manner  of  dealing  with  these  cases,  that  we 
may  give  it  here  in  his  words  instead  of  in  our  own.  '  Xavier,' 
he  says,  'thinking  within  himself  that  he  "ought  to  apply  some 
remedy  to  this  great  evil,  began  to  dispose  them  with  all  the 
endeavour  he  could  use.  And  first  he  went  about  to  win  them 
by  all  courteous  means ;  then,  as  he  met  them  in  the  streets, 
he  would  merely  request  them  to  invite  a  poor  priest  to  their 
ordinary  fare ;  which  they  willingly  accepted  of.  He  now  sit- 
ting at  table  would  before,  or  at,  their  repast,  entreat  his  host 
to  cause  his  children  to  be  called ;  whereupon  the  little  chil- 
dren coming  presently  at  their  father's  call,  Francis  would  take 
them  up  in  his  arms  and  hug  them  to  his  bosom,  thanking! 
God  Who  had  given  the  father  such  children  for  the  hope  of 
his  family,  and  withal  would  pray  God  to  grant  them  a  good 
and  holy  life.  Then  would  he  desire  that  their  mother  might 
be  called  (a  thing  which  in  another  would  have  been  temerity, 
but  his  sanctity  easily  excused  it).  When  she  was  come,  he 
would  speak  sweetly  unto  her,  and  commend  her  heartily  to 
his  host,  thereby  to  draw  him  to  take  her  to  his  wife,  saying 
that  doubtless  she  was  of  an  excellent  disposition  and  lovely 
countenance,  so  that  she  might  well  be  accounted  a  Portu- 
guese, that  the  children  which  he  had  by  her  were  certainly 
worthy  of  a  Portuguese  to  their  father.  Why  therefore  did  he 
not  marry  her  }  What  wife  could  he  have  better  ?  And  he 
should  do  well  to  provide  with  all  speed  for  his  children's  credit 
and  the  woman's  honesty. 

*  Which  wholesome  counsel  of  his  proved  not  unprofitable. 
For  by  his  words  and  authority  without  great  difficulty  he  per- 

128  St,  Francis  Xavien 

suaded  many  of  them  to  marry  their  mistresses,  being  himself 
witness  thereof.  But  if  by  chance  he  lighted  upon  any  one 
who  had  by  some  illfavoured  Indian  woman  children  like  unto 
herself,  then  assuming  great  indignation  thereat,  he  would  cry 
out,  Good  God  !  what  a  monster  have  we  here  !  Do  you  keep 
a  devil  in  your  house  ?  Can  you  keep  company  with  this  ugly 
beast?  Can  you  have  children  by  her?  Follow  my  counsel: 
drive  this  monster,  this  prodigious  creature,  presently  out  of 
your  house,  and  seek  you  a  wife  worthy  of  yourself.  So  in  put- 
ting away  his  mistress,  he  married  a  wife.' 

We  may  add,  to  complete  the  picture,  what  the  same  writer 
adds  of  another  practice  of  Francis  Xavier : '  He,  thirsting  more 
after  the  salvation  of  souls  than  his  own  praise,  was  always 
thinking  of  some  new  ways  how  to  help  them,  for  the  perform- 
ance whereof  there  was  nothing  which  he  would  not  do.  And 
amongst  the  rest  he  had  one  invention  which,  in  such  a  man 
as  he,  gave  an  admirable  example  of  Christian  simplicity,  and 
was  also  more  profitable  in  effect,  than  fair  to  show.  He  being 
a  man  of  grave  years  and  authority,  went  up  and  down  the 
highways  and  streets  with  a  little  bell  in  his  hand  (so  far  was 
he  from  thinking  anything  disgraceful  to  him  that  might  be 
grateful  to  God,  and  profitable  for  man's  salvation)  to  call  the 
children  and  servants  together  to  Christian  Doctrine,  at  the 
corners  of  the  streets  and  crossways,  sometimes  stirring  up 
the  inhabitants  to  piety  with  these  or  suchlike  words  :  "  jFait/i 
ful  Christia?is,for  the  love  which  you  hear  to  Christy  send  your 
children  and  servants  to  the  Christian  Doctrine.''^  Which  new 
invention  made  infinite  numbers  of  children,  slaves,  and  others 
to  run  flocking  unto  him  from  all  places  :  all  whom,  he  him- 
self marching  before,  he  would  lead  into  our  Blessed  Lady's 
Church,  singing  aloud  the  Catechism  unto  them,  and  teaching 
them  the  same,  thereby  to  cause  them  the  more  willingly  to 
come  and  hear  him,  and  so  the  more  easily  to  remember  what 
was  taught  them  in  the  manner  of  singing — both  which  proved 
afterwards  to  be  so.  And  herein  he  used  no  less  prudence 
than  diligence.  For  knowing  very  well  that  his  labour  would 
then  be  profitably  employed,  if  those  things  which  ought  to 

Labours  at  Goa,  129 

be  learned  were  well  understood,  all  that  he  sung  he  would 
explicate  largely  and  clearly,  according  to  the  capacity  of  his 

'  To  the  ruder  sort  and  to  slaves  he  would  purposely  speak 
after  a  rude  and  homely  manner,  that  their  own  fashion  of 
speech  might  keep  them  more  attentive  and  make  deeper  im- 
pression in  their  minds — which  endeavour  of  his  was  neither 
fruitless  nor  in  vain.  For  from  hence  arose  that  so  worthy  a 
custom  of  teaching  and  learning  the  Christian  Doctrine  which 
is  at  this  day  practised  in  India.  And  because  men  reaped 
more  fruit  by  it  than  was  expected,  the  Bishop  caused  the  same 
to  be  practised  by  others  in  the  other  churches,  so  as,  advanc- 
ing himself  in  this  new  piety,  those  of  the  Society  following 
Francis'  institution,  others  stirred  up  thereunto  partly  by  the 
Bishop's  command,  and  partly  by  the  example  of  the  Society, 
it  came  at  last  to  be  a  custom  throughout  all  India,  to  the 
great  advancement  of  the  Christian  cause.  For  this  practice 
so  spread  itself  abroad  both  in  Goa  and  in  other  places,  that 
everywhere  in  the  schools,  highways,  streets,  houses,  fields,  and 
ships,  there  were  instead  of  vain  and  idle  songs,  sung  and  heard 
the  principles  of  Christian  faith  with  great  delight.  Wherefore 
it  grew  to  a  custom  that  children  who  could  scarce  speak  did 
strive  to  sing  most  of  those  verses  by  heart.  And  in  this  exer- 
cise Xavier  gave  no  less  noble  proof  of  his  temperance  and 
moderation,  than  of  his  industrious  labours.  For  of  all  that 
was  given  to  him  under  the  title  of  alms,  he  received  nothing 
to  himself,  but  gave  all  to  the  sick  and  poor  in  the  most  pri- 
vate manner  he  could,  to  the  end  that  human  praise  might  not 
deprive  him  of  any  reward  in  the  sight  of  God.'^^ 

The  work  of  teaching  the  Christian  doctrine,  or  Catechism, 
to  children  and  the  ignorant  was  considered  so  essential  by 
the  first  Fathers  of  the  Society,  that  it  had  been  proposed  dur- 
ing their  deliberations  in  Rome,  when  the  form  of  the  Institute 
was  to  be  drawn  up  and  submitted  to  the  Pope,  to  join  a 
clause  relating  to  this  duty  to  the  fourth  and  distinctive  vow 
of  the  Professed, — that,  namely,  which  binds  them  to  special 

11  Turselline,  lib.  i.  c.  3. 
VOL.  T.  '  K 

130  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

obedience  to  the  Pope  as  to  any  missions  on  which  he  may- 
send  them.  This  proposal  was  abandoned  on  account  of  the 
opposition  of  one  only  among  the  Fathers,  Nicolas  Bobadilla, 
but  the  fact  shows  the  very  high  importance  which  Ignatius 
and  his  companions  attached  to  the  subject.  Francis  Xavier 
uniformly  acted  in  the  matter  as  if  he  had  been  bound  by  the 
proposed  vow.  The  plan  of  setting  the  Christian  doctrine  to 
simple  music,  and  teaching  it  in  the  way  just  mentioned  by 
Turselline,  was  characteristic  of  his  practical  sense  and  joyous 
simplicity,  and  we  find  it  specially  mentioned  as  having  been 
kept  to  throughout  his  career.  In  the  Moluccas,  the  Processes 
tell  us,  he  used  to  spend  the  day,  after  saying  mass,  in  hear- 
ing confessions  and  teaching  the  rudiments  of  the  faith  to 
children  and  adults  of  both  sexes  in  a  church  of  our  Lady,  a 
great  crowd  attending  his  instructions ;  and  from  this  the  cus- 
tom became  general  of  the  natives  singing  the  prayers  of  the 
Doctrine  as  they  were  carrying  their  wares  on  board  ship,  and 
at  night  in  their  houses,  *  which  thing,'  it  is  said,  *  greatly  moved 
all  hearts  to  devotion.  And  not  only  there,  and  in  Amboyna, 
and  at  Cape  Comorin,  but  everywhere  else  where  he  taught, 
his  prayers  and  teaching  sank  into  their  hearts  as  if  they  had 
been  taught  them  by  the  Apostles  themselves ;  and  his  Cate- 
chism was  taught  all  over  India,  the  children  singing  it  as  they 
went  to  and  came  from  school  j  and  in  the  streets  at  night  the 
slaves  and  boys  and  girls  as  they  passed  about  were  heard  to 
sing  no  other  songs  than  his.'^^ 

The  last  letter  of  St.  Francis,  which  we  have  inserted 
above,  makes  mention  of  his  approaching  departure  on  his 
first  missionary  expedition,  in  aid  of  the  recently  converted 
Christians  of  the  Fishery  Coast.  This  coast  and  the  neigh- 
bouring parts  of  Southern  India  formed  the  scene  of  his  earliest, 
labours  in  that  kind  of  Apostolate  which  was  to  be  his  chief 
occupation  for  the  remainder  of  his  short  life,  and  we  are  for- 
tunate in  possessing  details  of  considerable  importance  con- 
cerning his  method  of  action  as  well  as  the  severe  difficulties 
under  which  his  work  had  to  be  carried  on.  There  is  some 
12  Rdatio  super  Sanctitate  et  Miraculis  Sj'c,  in  cap.  de  Fide. 

Labours  at  Goa,  1 3 1 

little  uncertainty  as  to  the  length  of  his  first  stay  at  the  Fishery 
Coast,  as  there  is  not  perfect  agreement  between  the  different 
editors  of  his  Letters  as  to  the  date  of  some  of  them  which 
were  written  from  Goa  after  his  departure  for  the  Coast,  and 
which  make  it  evident  that  he  returned  to  that  city  after  his 
first  stay  among  the  natives.  But  the  question  is  not  of  any 
real  importance,  and  we  shall  take  the  liberty  of  inverting  the 
order  in  which  these  letters  are  usually  printed,  for  the  sake  of 
afterwards  considering  at  one  glance,  and  without  interruption, 
all  that  remains  to  us  concerning  the  mission  to  the  Fisheries. 
The  two  following  letters  may  probably,  as  we  have  hinted, 
have  been  written  from  Goa  during  a  short  visit  paid  by  St. 
Francis  to  that  city  in  the  later  months  of  1543,  after  he  had 
spent  a  year  on  the  mission.  They  relate  entirely  to  matters 
which  concern  the  interests  of  religion  in  Goa,  and  were  no 
doubt  the  fruit  of  many  conferences  between  St.  Francis  and 
the  Governor,  Don  Martin  Alfonso  de  Sousa,  over  whom,  as 
we  have  seen,  he  had  acquired  so  excellent  an  influence.  The 
second  looks  like  a  formal  document,  drawn  up  in  such  form 
as  to  be  laid  before  the  Pope  or  any  of  the  authorities  at 
Rome  whom  he  might  depute  to  consider  whether  the  requests 
made  in  the  name  of  the  Governor  could  be  granted.  It  asks 
for  a  plenary  indulgence  to  be  gained  after  confession  and 
communion  on  the  Feast  of  St.  Thomas,  the  first  Apostle  of 
the  Indies,  and  during  his  octave :  for  the  same  favour  for  the 
inmates  of  the  hospitals  of  the  city  of  Goa,  and  for  those  who 
wait  upon  them,  every  time  they  approach  the  sacraments,  and 
also  at  the  hour  of  death,  and  again  for  all  the  faithful  on  the 
feasts  of  our  Blessed  Lady,  and  for  the  members  of  the  '  Con- 
fraternity of  Mercy'  and  their  wives,  once  a  year  and  at  the 
hour  of  death.  Another  demand  is  that  on  account  01  the 
very  great  distance  between  the  various  Portuguese  settlements 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Bishop  of  Goa, — the  Moluccas 
and  Malacca  in  the  far  East,  Ormuz  on  the  Persian  Gulr,  Diu, 
Sofala  on  the  African  coast,  and  Mozambique — a  distance 
which  prevented  the  Bishop  from  visiting  them  regularly,  he 
might  be  allowed  to  delegate  to  his  vicars  in  those  places  the 

132  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

power  which,  under  such  circumstances,  is  sometimes  com- 
mitted to  priests,  of  administering  the  sacrament  of  Confirm- 
ation. The  last  request  strikes  us  as  very  strange,'  and  is  put 
forward  with  some  appearance  of  hesitation  as  to  the  possibi- 
Hty  of  the  concession.  It  is  proposed  that  as  the  chmate  and 
seasons  of  India  so  far  inverted  the  ordinary  course  of  Hfe  for 
the  Portuguese  in  the  East  as  to  occupy  them  in  the  active 
pursuits  either  of  commerce  or  warfare  during  the  spring,  which 
is  there  also  the  hot  season,  and  as  this  led  to  a  general  dis- 
regard of  the  observance  of  the  Lenten  fast,  the  Church  should 
change  her  seasons  to  suit  the  convenience  of  her  children, 
and  transplant  the  fast  of  Lent  to  the  months  of  June  and  July. 
The  grounds  for  all  these  requests  are  formally  given  in  the 
document  which  we  shall  presently  quote. 

The  other  letter  which  we  shall  place  before  that  of  which 
we  have  been  speaking,  is  written  with  more  freedom,  though 
perhaps  not  with  that  entire  abandonment  of  reserve  which 
characterizes  St.  Francis  when  he  is  writing  to  St.  Ignatius, 
with  the  certainty  that  he  alone  will  see  his  letter.  We  see  the 
warm  and  grateful  interest  which  Francis  felt  towards  the  Go- 
vernor de  Sousa  —  a  good  and  pious  man,  who  afterwards 
proved,  we  are  told,  wanting  in  firmness  in  his  arduous  charge 
— and  his  ingenious  charity  in  suggesting  to  Ignatius  the  little 
attentions  which  will  go  most  nearly  to  the  heart  of  Sousa. 
His  sanguine  desires  as  to  the  large  supply  of  missionaries  of 
the  Society  are  put  forward  under  the  authority  of  the  Gover- 
nor. Francis  had  probably  already  begun  to  find  out  what 
was  to  be  a  very  principal  cross  to  him  for  the  remainder  of  his 
life.  The  work  at  the  centre  of  the  Church  is  at  some  times 
so  overwhelming  that  even  thie  largest-hearted  men  at  home 
are  fain  to  shrink  from  the  sacrifice  involved  in  sending  the 
best  instruments  at  their  disposal  to  a  distance  among  the 
heathen.  Later  on  we  shall  find  Ignatius  coming  even  to  the 
conclusion  that  he  must  withdraw  St.  Francis  himself  from  the 
East :  and  we  may  well  imagine  how  the  eager  Apostle  of  the 
Indies  felt  at  Goa,  with  the  fine  college  of  Santa  Fe  ready  for 
his  workmen,  with  so  many  new  fields  of  labour  opening  out 

Labours  at  Goa,  133 

daily  before  him,  as  month  after  month  passed  without  bring- 
ing him  the  long-desired  reinforcements,  or  even  a  letter  from 
his  tenderly  loved  brethren  in  Europe  to  assure  him  of  their 

(xi.)   To  the  Father  Master  Ignatius  of  Loyola, 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  always 
help  and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

Some  persons  out  here,  guided,  it  is  clear,  by  the  inspira- 
tion of  God,  have  lately  founded  a  College  at  Goa,  and  no 
work  could  be  named  of  which  there  was  greater  need  in  these 
parts.  It  increases  daily,  and  we  have  great  cause  for  giving 
thanks  to  God  for  the  establishment  of  such  a  house  for  the 
instruction,  I  trust,  of  many  converts  and  the  conversion  of 
many  infidels.  The  building  of  the  College  is  in  the  hands  of 
men  of  great  virtue  and  high  position.  The  Governor  himself 
favours  the  business  greatly,  and  is  so  convinced  that  the  de- 
sign is  one  which  tends  to  the  advancement  of  the  Christian 
religion,  that  it  is  chiefly  with  his  funds  and  by  means  of  him 
that  the  buildings  destined  for  the  purpose  seem  likely  to  be 
enlarged  and  finished  in  a  short  space  of  time.  The  church, 
which  is  close  to  the  College,  is  of  a  very  handsome  design. 
The  foundations  were  laid  a  long  time  ago,  now  the  walls  are 
finished,  and  they  are  putting  on  the  roof.  It  will  be  conse- 
crated next  summer.  If  you  want  to  know  its  size,  it  is  twice 
as  large  as  the  church  of  the  Sorbonne  at  Paris.  The  income 
allotted  to  the  College  is  large  enough  to  support  easily  a  hun- 
dred students,  and  people  think  it  will  be  further  increased 
continually.^^  Indeed,  we  hope,  with  God's  help,  that  in  a  few 
years  many  will  go  forth  from  this  place  who  will  do  good  ser- 
vice to  religion  in  these  countries,  and  extend  far  and  wide 
the  boundaries  of  holy  Church. 

Judging  from  these  beginnings,  I  hope  that  by  six  years' 
time  the  students  of  the  College  will  number  quite  three  hun- 

^3  The  College  was  endowed  originally  with  an  annual  sum  of  800  crowns, 
which,  as  has  been  said,  had  formerly  gone  to  the  maintenance  of  pagan  priests. 

134  ^^-  Francis  Xavier. 

dred,  youths  of  all  races,  nations,  and  tongues,  and  that  by 
their  labours  the  number  of  Christians  will  be  very  greatly  in- 
creased. The  Governor  has  promised  that  as  soon  as  the 
heathen  give  him  a  little  leisure  (for  he  is  constantly  at  war 
with  them),  he  will  get  the  College  buildings  rapidly  finished. 
He  has  made  up  his  mind  that  there  is  no  work  to  be  done  in 
India  more  pious  and  holy  than  this,  that  the  dedication  of 
such  houses  to  Christ  has  enabled  him  to  win  many  and  great 
victories  which  he  has  already  won  over  the  heathen,  and  he 
trusts  with  the  help  of  God  to  win  by  and  bye  even  greater. 
So  I  do  beg  of  you  over  and  over  again,  by  Christ  our  Lord 
and  His  religion,  to  pray  yourself  for  Don  Martin  Sousa,  and 
have  him  commended  to  the  prayers  of  the  Society,  that  God 
may  supply  him  abundantly  with  counsel  and  help  from  on  high 
to  govern  well  this  immense  province  of  India,  so  that  he  may  so 
pass  through  things  temporal  as  not  to  lose  things  eternal. ^"^ 

And  indeed,  if  I  thought  there  was  any  room  for  recom- 
mendation from  me,  I  should  commend  him  to  you  as  I  would 
myself.  His  great  virtue  has  rendered  him  so  dear  to  me, 
that  I  do  not  love  him  less  tenderly  than  he  appears  to  love 
me,  though  all  our  affection  and  mutual  services  have  the 
single  object  of  the  glory  of  Jesus  Christ.  Heaven  forbid  I 
should  ever  forget  him.  If  I  were  to  do  so,  I  should  expect 
to  have  to  pay  very  severe  penalties  to  God  for  so  much  in- 
gratitude. The  Governor  is  writing  to  the  King  about  the 
College,  that,  if  it  seems  well,  his  Highness  may  write  to  the 
Holy  Father  to  urge  him  to  send  some  of  our  Society  to  India, 
to  be  the  future  props  of  this  College.  Some  people  call  it 
the  College  of  the  Conversion  of  St.  Paul,  others  the  College 
of  the  Holy  Faith.  This  last  name  appears  to  me  the  best 
name  for  it,  as  its  students  seem  to  be  educated  for  the  pur- 
pose of  sowing  the  seed  of  the  Christian  faith  in  the  minds  of 
the  infidels. 

The  Governor  has  charged  me  to  write  to  you  at  length 
about  the  College  and  its  establishment,  and  I  therefore  do 

1*  Latin  words  in  the  original :  ni  sic  transeat  per  bona  temporalia,  ut  no/i 
amittat  ceterna.     Tlie  words  are  taken  from  a  collect  in  the  Missal. 

Labours  at  Goa.  135 

so.  The  object  of  the  institute  is  to  bring  up  native  boys  of 
various  nations  in  the  Christian  reHgion,  who  when  sufficiently 
instructed  may  be  sent  home  to  teach  their  fellowcountrymen. 
I  can  find  no  words  to  tell  you  how  much  the  Governor  ap- 
proves our  Society  and  its  institute.  He  considers  that  as  you 
have  been  the  means  by  which  God  has  called  us  all  into  the 
Society  of  His  Son,  he  owes  it  to  his  duty  to  God  and  his 
office  to  take  care  that  you  are  informed  by  letter  how  very 
necessary  it  is  that  the  youth  of  the  College  be  instructed,  in 
order  that  you  may  think  of  sending  over  here  some  of  the 
Society  for  this  purpose.  He  says  that  it  is  his  business  to 
finish  the  buildings  of  the  College,  and  yours  to  provide  it 
with  competent  teachers  for  the  young  men.  He  thinks  also 
that  it  is  important  for  the  dignity  of  religion  and  the  increase 
of  piety  in  this  country,  that  the  Pope  should  be  induced  to 
grant  to  the  high  altar  of  this  church  the  privilege  of  the  liber- 
ation of  a  soul  from  Purgatory  each  time  that  mass  is  cele- 
brated thereon  for.  the  dead,  just  as  if  it  were  at  what  is  called 
a  privileged  altar  at  Rome.  And  ,that  all  question  of  gain  to 
the  priest  who  may  wish  to  celebrate  the  mass  there,  may  be 
excluded,  he  wishes  the  grant  to  be  made  out  so  as  to  contain 
the  condition,  that  the  privilege  may  only  be  gained  when  the 
priest  says  mass  at  this  altar  gratuitously,  with  no  expectation 
of  fee  or  human  consideration,  and  when  the  person  who  gets 
it  said  goes  to  confession  and  receives  communion  at  that 
mass.  It  is  certainly  quite  fair  that  one  who  would  set  free 
the  soul  of  another  from  Purgatory  should  first  set  his  own  free 
from  hell  and  eternal  damnation.  The  Governor's  reason  for 
wishing  that  some  special  Indulgence  should  be  granted  by 
the  Pope  to  the  priests  who  say  mass  at  the  altar,  is  that  they 
may  be  attracted  by  such  an  advantage  and  be  desirous  of 
saying  mass  there ;  and  he  is  very  anxious  that  this  Pontifical 
favour  should  be  granted,  in  order  to  enhance  the  veneration 
for  the  shrine  and  increase  the  piety  of  the  people.  All  these 
requests  of  his  will  be  enough  to  make  you  understand  the 
character  of  the  good  man,  who  feels  so  rightly  about  holy 
things  and  matters  of  piety,  and  is  so  painstaking  about  them. 

36  5/.  Francis  Xavien 

I  do  not  doubt  that  when  you  send  some  subjects  out  here, 
one  or  indeed  many  of  them  will  be  of  approved  virtue  and 
constancy,  as  men  should  be  who  will  have  to  administer  a 
College  like  this,  and  to  undergo  all  the  many  trials  which 
this  country  is  sure  to  afford.  Sea  and  land  alike  will  put  their 
strength  and  virtue  abundantly  to  the  test.  The  work  requires 
men  of  strong  constitution  and  in  vigorous  health:  young  men 
will  do  better  than  old  men,  though  we  will  not  refuse  the  old, 
if  they  are  hale  and  active.  All  who  come  will  be  welcomed 
with  kindness  and  good  will  by  the  people  here,  and  will  be 
asked  at  once  to  hear  confessions,  to  give  pious  meditations, 
and  to  preach.  The  harvest  will  be  great  and  abundant.  We 
have  already  more  than  sixty  native  children  ready  who  are 
now  being  instructed  by  Diego  de  Borba,  an  excellent  Fran- 
ciscan friar.  At  the  beginning  of  the  summer  they  will  move 
into  the  College.  Most  of  them  know  how  to  read,  several 
know  how  to  write  and  are  far  enough  on  to  be  taught  gram- 
mar. I  tell  you  this  that  you  may  send  us  a  good  master  for 
them,  and,  when  he  comes,  he  will  find  plenty  of  work  in  the 
discharge  of  his  office. 

His  Excellency  also  hopes  that,  among  those  whom  we  ex- 
pect from  you,  there  may  be  one  who  is  a  Preacher,  who  may 
give  instructions  to  the  priests  in  things  of  necessity,  lecturing 
on  a  part  of  the  Scriptures,  or  the  sacraments  (for  the  gener- 
ality of  those  who  come  out  here  are  not  overburthened  with 
learning),  and  at  the  same  time  rouse  them  up  to  the  love 
of  God  and  devoted  care  of  the  salvation  of  men,  as  well  by 
his  example  as  by  his  teaching.  I  need  not  tell  you  that  deeds 
are  more  persuasive  than  words.  As  for  the  rest  of  our  peo- 
ple, he  wishes  them  to  be  such  as  may  labour  with  diligence  in 
hearing  confessions,  administering  the  sacraments,  and  con- 
verting the  heathen.  This  island  itself  may  yield  an  abundant 
harvest  in  the  conversion  of  heathen.^^  A  great  number  of  these 
lie  utterly  destitute  of  help  in  the  darkness  and  night  of  super- 

1^  He  speaks  of  the  island,  or  peninsula,  in  which  Goa  stood,  which  con- 
tained a  large  heathen  population.  The  Epistolce  Indices  of  subsequent  years 
speak  of  numerous  conversions  among  them. 

Labours  at  Goa,  13/ 

stition,  ignorant  altogether  of  the  God  Who  made  them  and 
Who  is  their  Lord.  So  the  Governor  expects  you  to  send  him 
three  Priests  and  a  Master  of  Humanities.  He  is  also  writing 
himself  to  the  King,  if  I  am  not  mistaken,  to  beg  him  to  ask 
the  Pope  for  four  of  our  Society.  He  also  asks  for  certain 
Indulgences,  a  list  of  which  I  send  in  a  separate  letter,  so 
that  when  they  have  been  granted,  at  the  King's  petition,  our 
brothers  who  are  to  come  out  may  bring  them  to  India.  I 
would  have  you  thoroughly  to  understand  that  this  service 
will  win  them  the  good  will  of  all  the  Portuguese  who  are  in 
India,  and  give  them  much  consideration  and  authority,  which 
will  be  found  of  the  greatest  value  when  they  have  to  implant 
divine  truths  in  the  minds  of  these  people.  Of  all  the  nations 
that  I  have  seen,  the  Portuguese  is  the  one  which  seems  to,  me 
to  go  furthest  in  prizing  Indulgences  from  Rome,  and  to  be  the 
most  drawn  to  the  frequentatian  of  the  sacraments  by  attrac- 
tions of  this  kind.  So  I  trust  that,  both  to  cherish  this  devo- 
tion of  the  nation  that  I  mention,  and  also  in  consideration  of 
their  profound  devotion  to  the  Holy  See,  the  Holy  Father  will 
be  pleased  to  show  himself  very  liberal  in  granting  the  request 
of  children  so  obedient  to  him.  Whatever  graces  of  this  sort 
may  be  obtained  from  the  Holy  Father  you  will  take  care  to 
have  sent  to  us  with  the  documents  in  full  form,  that  there 
may  be  the  greater  certainty  and  dignity  about  the  concession. 
His  Excellency,  I  think,  is  writing  to  you  himself.  Though 
he  has  never  seen  you,  he  is  devoted  to  you  and  to  all  the 
Society  as  well.  Pray  write  to  him  and  send  him  a  couple  of 
rosaries  with  the  Papal  Indulgences  attached,  as  a  present 
for  himself  and  his  wife.  They  will  please  him  very  much, 
both  for  the  sake  of  the  Indulgences  and  because  they  come 
from  you.  He  begs  you,  moreover,  because  he  has  so  much 
confidence  in  your  influence  and  friendship,  to  obtain  for  him 
as  a  favour  from  the  Pope,  that  every  time  he,  his  wife,  or  his 
children  go  to  confession,  they  may  gain  all  the  Indulgences 
of  the  Seven  Churches  at  Rome.  If  you  do  this  for  him,  he 
will  be  greatly  indebted  to  you.  Moreover  he  will  think  that 
I  have  really  some  little  influence  with  you,  if  you  obtain  these 

"138  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

favours  which  I  have  mentioned  from  the  Pope  in  consequence 

of  this  letter  which  I  write  to  you  in  his  name.     But  now  I 

make  an  end,  conjuring  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord,  Who  in  His 

infinite  mercy  has  united  us  under  the  same  rule  of  life  here, 

to  be  pleased  to  unite  us  after  death  in  everlasting  happiness. 

The  least  of  your  sons,  and  the  most  distant  from  your 

presence,  _ 


Goa,  Oct.  18,  1543.  

(xii.)   To  the  Father  Master  Ignatius  of  Loyola. 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  always 
assist  and  favour  us !    Amen. 

The  Governor  of  India,  to  whom  we  are  all  greatly  in- 
debted, both  those  of  us  who  are  here  and  who  are  at  Rome, 
on  account  as  well  of  his  great  zeal  for  the  worship  of  God  as 
of  his  especial  love  for  our  Society,  has  asked  me  to  write  to 
you  concerning  various  spiritual  wants  of  these  countries.  He 
is  himself  so  much  disposed  to  religion,  and  his  requests  are 
so  conformable  to  piety  and  virtue,  that  I  wiUingly  undertake 
to  make  these  petitions  to  you  in  his  name. 

In  the  first  place,  as  the  people  of  India  honour  with  an 
especial  worship  the  Apostle  St.  Thomas,  the  patron  of  India, 
the  Governor,  with  a  view  to  increase  and  honour  this  their 
veneration  and  worship,  would  wish  that  his  Holiness  should 
grant  a  Plenary  Indulgence  on  the  day  of  the  Feast  of  that 
Apostle  and  seven  days  after,  to  those  only  who  within  that 
time  shall  duly  go  to  confession  and  communion.  He  has 
named  this  condition,  that  the  people  may  be  induced  to  ap- 
proach the  sacraments,  and  that  the  feast  day  may  be  kept 
with  due  piety  and  observance,  and  this  all  the  more  because 
Lent  falls  in  the  summer  in  these  countries,  when  everybody 
here  is  soldiering.  The  Indians  are  masters  on  the  land,  the 
Portuguese  at  sea.  The  consequence  is  that  the  holy  season 
of  Lent  is  spent  in  military  occupations  and  in  navigation,  and 
thus  the  soldiers  and  the  merchants  have  commonly  no  time 
to  approach  the  sacraments  of  penance  and  holy  communion. 

Labours  at  Goa,  139 

The  Governor  therefore,  that  men  may  be  attracted  to  the 
sacraments,  asks  the  Holy  Father  to  grant  them  the  induce- 
ment of  this  Indulgence,  which  is  likely  to  be  a  sort  of  Lent. 

In  the  second  place,  he  prays  you  to  obtain  from  the  Holy 
Father  in  favour  of  the  hospitals  of  the  city,  that  the  sick  and 
those  who  wait  upon  them  may  obtain  a  Plenarv  Indulgence  as 
often  as  they  go  to  confession  and  receive  holy  communion, 
and  that  the  dying  may  receive  the  same  Indulgence.  He  asks 
this  in  order  that  the  sick  may  be  induced  to  approach  the 
sacraments  more  frequently,  that  the  others  may  more  will- 
ingly wait  on  the  sick  and  give  themselves  to  pious  works  with 
greater  fervour,  and  that  all,  sick  and  strong,  may  worship  God 
in  purity  and  piety,  and  set  a  good  example  to  the  heathen 
among  whom  they  live  and  dwell. 

Again,  his  Excellency  is  remarkably  devout  to  the  Blessed 
Mother  of  God,  and  keeps  her  festivals  most  religiously.  By 
far  the  greatest  part  of  the  year  he  spends  at  Goa  with  a  large 
Court.  Goa  is  a  city  in  the  island  of  the  same  name,  about 
ten  miles  broad  :  and  in  this  island  there  are  several  churches 
of  our  Lady,  really  very  devotional  and  rich,  well  worth  notice 
as  to  architectural  beauty,  vestments,  sacred  vessels,  numbers 
of  priests,  and  celebration  of  worship.  As  those  churches  keep 
each  in  their  turn  the  festivals  of  our  Lady  with  great  magnifi- 
cence, the  Governor,  in  order  to  increase  the  number  of  wor- 
shippers and  the  true  veneration  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  asks 
that  any  one  who  may  visit  these  churches  on  those  feast  days 
after  having  been  to  confession  and  communion,  may  gain  a 
Plenary  Indulgence.  Such  graces  are  really  more  needed  in 
India  than  elsewhere  in  Christian  countries,  because,  the  number 
of  Christians  being  very  large — for  the  Portuguese  are  very  nu- 
merous, the  Indian  converts  are  numerous,  and  a  large  number 
are  continually  being  received — still  the  number  of  priests  is 
wonderfully  small.  They  are  quite  unable  to  hear  all  the 
confessions  in  Lent.  So  the  Governor,  in  order  that  no  one 
out  here  may  live  without  confession  and  communion,  makes 
these  requests  to  the  Holy  Father  through  you,  in  order  that 
every  one  may  have  a  wish  to  receive  the  sacraments,  and  that 

140  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

all  may  make  use  of  these  true  treasures  of  grace  left  to  us  by 
our  Blessed  Lord  for  the  attainment  of  eternal  happiness. 

Again,  we  have  in  this  city,  as  well  as  in  most  other  places 
where  Christians  have  settled,  a  Confraternity  of  good  men 
who  undertake  the  relief  of  the  poor  among  the  inhabitants 
whether  old  Christians  or  converts.  It  is  called  the  Confra- 
ternity of  Mercy,  and  consists  entirely  of  Portuguese.  The 
ardour  and  perseverance  with  which  these  pious  people  serve 
God  by  relieving  the  poor  is  quite  incredible.  In  order  to 
kindle  still  more  their  charity,  the  Governor  asks  the  Holy 
Father  to  grant  them  a  Plenary  Indulgence  once  a  year,  after 
confession  and  communion,  and  the  same  at  the  hour  of 
death.  As  most  of  them  are  married,  he  would  like  these 
favours  to  be  extended  to  the  wives  as  well  as  the  husbands. 

The  Portuguese  are  not  only  masters  of  thd  Indian  sea, 
but  they  also  occupy  different  places  on  the  coast,  where  they 
reside  with  their  wives  and  children.  These  places  are  very 
far  apart.  Thus,  from  Goa  to  the  Moluccas,^*^  where  the  King 
of  Portugal  has  a  fortress,  is  about  looo  leagues  ;  to  Malacca, 
a  city  where  the  Christians  are  very  numerous,  500  leagues ; 
to  Ormuz,  a  famous  city,  much  frequented  by  the  Portuguese, 
400  leagues;  to  Diu,  300  leagues;  to  Mozambique,  900  leagues; 
to  Sofala,  1200  leagues.  In  each  of  these  cities  the  Bishop  of 
Goa  has  a  Vicar-General,  being  unable  to  visit  them  regularly 
in  person  on  account  of  the  great  distance.  The  Governor 
therefore,  knowing  how  necessary  the  sacrament  of  Confirma- 
tion is  to  Christians  living  among  savages  and  continually  at 
war  with  the  infidels^  would  ask  the  Holy  Father,  with  the 
object  of  fortifying  the  Christian  faith  in  India,  to  give  the 
Bishop  of  Goa  faculties  to  delegate  to  his  Vicars  the  power  of 
administering  Confirmation,  since  a  single  Bishop  could  never 
satisfy  the  wants  of  places  so  far  distant,  let  him  be  ever  so 
willing  to  do  so. 

In  these  countries  nature  has  so  completely  inverted  the 
regular  order  of  the  seasons,  that  when  on  the  other  coast  of 
India  it  is  full  summer,  here  on  this  side  we  are  feeling  the 

1^  Francis  speaks  of  '  Molucco'  as  a  single  place. 

Labours  at  Goa,  141 

winter  ;  and  so  on  this,  when  they  are  under  the  winter  colds, 
we  are  burnt  up  by  the  summer  heats.  And  the  heat  in  sum- 
mer is  something  incredible.  The  sun  is  so  hot,  that  fish 
begin  to  rot  as  soon  as  they  die.  So,  during  the  hot  season, 
when  the  sea  on  this  side  is  navigated,  it  is  shut  on  the  other 
on  account  of  tempests  which  frighten  every  one  from  sailing 
at  that  time.  And,  as  I  said  before,  in  the  season  of  Lent  all 
the  troops  take  arms  and  go  on  board  the  vessels  for  a  sea 
campaign,  and  the  merchants  in  like  manner  are  in  perpetual 
motion  to  and  fro.  For  the  Portuguese  here,  having  greater 
command  of  sea  than  of  land,  are  engaged  in  commerce,  and 
support  themselves  and  their  families  thereby.  Thus,  what  with 
the  excessive  heat  which  I  speak  of,  and  what  with  the  almost 
continual  voyages  of  the  Portuguese,  Lent  is  disregarded  and 
few  persons  observe  the  law  of  fasting.  The  Governor  has 
charged  me  to  lay  all  these  facts  carefully  before  you,  and  to 
beg  of  you  in  the  name  of  God,  that  if  such  a  thing  be  pos- 
sible, you  will  get  the  Pope  to  change  the  time  of  Lent  in 
these  parts  to  the  months  of  June  and  July,  at  which  time  of 
year  the  heat  begins  to  relent,  and  there  is  much  less  naviga- 
tion, on  account  of  the  roughness  of  the  sea.  So  the  milder 
temperature  would  make  it  easy  for  most  people  to  fast,  and 
the  return  of  Lent  at  that  time  would  be  a  sort  of  reminder, 
and  they  would  then  easily  obey  the  precepts  of  the  Church 
as  to  confession  and  communion.  This  measure  is  one  which 
seems  of  the  greatest  importance  for  the  service  of  God,  un- 
less you  see  any  objection  to  it.  The  Governor  entreats  you 
earnestly  not  to  let  anything  that  can  be  done  in  this  matter 
be  left  unattempted  through  any  want  of  exertion  on  the  part 
of  his  advocate.  You  will  be  rewarded  for  your  trouble  by  the 
gratitude  of  all  the  inhabitants  of  these  countries,  and  you 
will  have  a  share  in  the  fruits  of  the  divine  worship  and  the 
merits  which  will  be  acquired  in  consequence  of  all  those 
graces.     Adieu. 

Goa,  Oct.  20,  1543. 

P.S.    As  I  was  leaving  Lisbon,  I  wrote  to  you  about  a 

142  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

College  of  the  Society  which  the  King  was  thinking  of  estab- 
lishing at  Coimbra,  in  the  public  University.  He  commis- 
sioned me  to  write  and  ask  you  for  some  of  our  Society  for 
the  purpose,  and  to  offer  his  own  assistance  and  favour  for  the 
buildings,  as  well  as  an  endowment,  for  there  is  a  great  dearth 
in  Portugal  of  men  well  fitted  to  instruct  their  heathen  fellow- 
subjects,'7  separated  from  them  as  they  are  by  such  an  im- 
mense distance,  in  the  faith  and  precepts  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  Pray  let  me  know  as  soon  as  possible  what  you  have 
done  in  the  matter. 

Your  child  in  Christ, 


17  ethnicos  populares  suos.  The  words  are  not  quite  free  from  ambiguity, 
but  they  seem  to  refer  to  the  Indians ;  and  the  College  of  Coimbra,  which  Simon 
Rodriguez  stayed  in  Portugal  to  found,  was  intended  by  St.  Ignatius  to  feed  the 
Indian  mission. 


Francis  Xavier  among  the  Paravas, 

It  has  already  been  mentioned  that  the  first  mission  under- 
taken by  St.  Francis  Xavier  beyond  the  limits  of  the  Portu- 
guese city  of  Goa,  was  to  the  native  Indians  in  the  extreme 
south  of  the  peninsula,  dwelling  along  the  coast  which  stretches 
eastwards  from  Cape  Comorin  as  far  as  the  point  opposite  the 
island  which  the  old  geographers  called  Rammanakoyel,  at 
the  northwestern  extremity  of  the  ridge  of  shoals  known  as 
Adam's  Bridge,  which  reaches  as  far  as  Manaar  close  to  the 
coast  of  Ceylon,  and  forms  the  boundary  of  the  modern  Gulf 
of  Manaar.  The  whole  of  this  coast  derives  its  chief  celebrity 
from  the  pearl  fishery,  which  is  carried  on  by  the  inhabitants, 
and  which  is  probably  the  most  famous  in  the  world,  though 
the  Bahrein  pearls  are  now  said  to  be  finer  than  those  here 
obtained.  The  natives  of  the  coast  of  which  we  speak,  the 
Paravas,  were  low  in  caste,  poor,  and  ill  able  to  defend  them- 
selves against  tyranny  and  aggression.  When  the  Portuguese 
first  came  to  India,  and  indeed  down  to  a  short  time  before 
the  mission  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  among  them,  they  had  been 
made  subject  by  the  Mussulmans — retaining,  however,  their 
own  nominal  chiefs — and  the  fisheries  had  been  carried  on  by 
them  for  the  benefit  of  their  masters.  A  chance  outrage,  how- 
ever, had  opened  the  way  alike  to  Portuguese  influence  and 
at  least  a  superficial  introduction  of  Christianity  among  them. 
At  Tuticorin,  a  considerable  town  on  the  coast,  about  half 
way  between  the  two  extreme  points,  a  Mussulman  had  wan- 
tonly torn  an  earring  out  of  the  ear  of  a  Parava.  This  act 
was  considered  as  the  extremity  of  insult,  and  the  Parava  at 
once  killed  him.     A  conflict  ensued,  in  which  many  Paravas 

144  *5^»  Francis  Xavier. 

lost  their  lives.  They  retaliated  by  collecting  assistance  from 
a  number  of  their  villages,  and  making  a  massacre  of  the  Mus- 

But  the  Paravas  were  the  weaker  party,  and  this  was  per- 
fectly well  known  to  their  own  chiefs,  who,  in  the  accounts 
that  remain  to  us,  are  called  kings.  These  seem  to  have  been 
frightened  by  the  great  preparations  made  by  the  Mussulmans, 
especially  by  sea,  and  hastened  to  make  terms  with  them, 
undertaking,  as  it  would  seem,  to  punish  their  own  subjects 
severely.  The  Paravas,  an  unwarlike  and  mild  race,  were  in 
the  greatest  perplexity  and  alarm,  and  at  the  suggestion  of  a 
'  Christian  Knight,'  a  converted  native  noble,  who  had  gone 
to  Portugal  and  been  received  with  favour  by  the  King,  they 
applied  for  assistance  from  the  Portuguese  authorities  at  Cochin, 
sending  a  number  of  their  Patangats,  or  Patangatins — officials 
somewhat  answering,  it  appears,  to  the  '  maires-de-village'  in 
Europe — as  ambassadors  to  plead  their  cause.  The  mixture 
of  religion  and  policy  in  the  advice  of  this  Joam  de  Cruz  is 
characteristic.  '  He,'  says  Turselline,  *  being  a  man  both 
grave  and  pious,  and  hoping  this  fear  of  theirs  might  be  an 
occasion  to  bring  in  the  Gospel  of  Christ  among  them,  so  as 
at  once  they  might  be  set  free  from  the  misery  both  of  their 
war  and  their  superstitions,  told  them  his  opinion  was  that  in 
this  extremity  of  danger  they  were  to  fly  to  extreme  remedies ; 
and  seeing,  contrary  to  all  justice  and  equity,  they  were  be- 
trayed by  their  own  kings,  and  hardly  charged  on  all  sides 
by  their  enemies'  forces,  they  should  implore  aid  of  the  Al- 
mighty King  of  Heaven  and  of  the  Portuguese  their  friends, 
who  were  His  devoted  and  religious  servants :  that  so,  pro- 
tected by  the  Portuguese  and  the  Divine  assistance,  they  might 
not  only  defend  themselves,  but  also  triumph  over  their  enemies. 
For  if  they  would  yield  themselves  subjects  to  the  Christian 
religion  and  to  the  Portuguese,  they  certainly  would  fight  with 
all  their  forces  for  them,  both  from  regard  for  religion,  and  be- 
cause they  were  now  become  their  subjects,  and  would  also, 
by  the  help  of  God,  carry  the  whole  business  with  as  good 
success  as  valour.     And  having  conquered  and  overthrown  the 

Among  the  Paravas,  145 

Saracens,  the  deadly  enemies  of  Christians,  they  might  also 
perhaps  give  up  the  fishing  of  pearls  (as  taken  from  the  Sara- 
cens by  right  of  war)  unto  the  Paravas,  in  respect  they  were 
become  Christians,  as  a  pledge  of  their  religion.'^  It  appears 
that  the  Mussulmans  had  before  this  seized  on  the  pearl  fish- 
eries, forcing  the  natives  to  work  only  for  their  profit.  The 
advice  of  Joam  de  Cruz  was  taken,  and  the  Patangatins  who 
went  as  envoys  to  Cochin  all  received  Baptism,  and  promised 
that  their  whole  nation  would  do  the  same.  The  Portuguese 
accepted  their  terms,  routed  the  Mussulman  fleet,  and  gave 
the  fisheries  back  to  the  Paravas.  Some  priests  were  also  sent 
among  them,  the  chief  of  whom  was  Miguel  Vaz,  the  Bishop 
of  Goa's  Vicar,  and  the  whole  people  was  rapidly  baptized.^ 

This  wholesale  conversion  took  place  in  1532,  ten  years 
before  the  arrival  of  Francis  in  India.  The  work  was  not  kept 
up  in  any  way,  and  when  St.  Francis  first  heard  of  the  Paravas 
from  Miguel  Vaz,  who  entreated  him  to  go  and  evangelize 
them,  ihey  were  entirely  destitute  of  Priests,  and  very  little 
seems  to  have  been  done  after  their  first  conversion  to  instruct 
them  and  maintain  them  in  the  faith.  Francis  found  them 
ignorant  of  everything  except  that  they  were  Christians.  He 
left  Goa  late  in  the  autumn  of  the  year  in  which  he  arrived  in 
India.  We  shall  first  give  the  letters  in  which  he  relates  his 
mode  of  proceeding  to  St.  Ignatius  and  his  brothers  at  Rome, 
and  then  add  what  is  known  of  his  life  at  this  period  from 
other  sources. 

1  Turselline,  lib.  ii.  c.  5. 

2  Bartoli  [Asia,  t.  i.  lib.  i.  p.  49)  tells  us  that  the  first  Paravas  Avho  were 
baptized  at  Cochin  were  seventy  in  number.  The  Mussulmans,  he  adds,  sent 
in  alarm  to  Cochin  to  offer  a  large  sum  of  money  to  the  Portuguese,  in  hopes 
of  buying  them  off,  but  the  officer  in  command  refused  to  traffic  with  the  souls 
of  the  Paravas.  After  thti  defeat  of  the  Mussulmans  as  many  as  twenty  thou- 
sand, the  inhabitants  of  t^  irty  villages,  became  Christians. 

VOL.  X. 

14^  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

(xiii.)   To  the  Reverend  Father  Ignatius^  General  of 
the  Society ^  at  Rome, 

May  the  grace  and  charity  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help 
and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

I  wrote  you  a  long  letter  from  Goaabout  our  voyage  from 
Portugal  to  India.  Now,  because  such  is  your  wish,  my  best 
and  sweetest  Father,  I  will  give  you  a  little  account  of  my  ex- 
pedition to  Cape  Comorin. 

I  set  out  with  several  native  students  from  the  Seminary 
at  Goa,  who  have  been  under  instruction,  ever  since  their  early 
youth,  in  the  ceremonies  of  the  Church,  and  are  now  in  minor 
orders.  We  went  through  all  the  villages  of  the  converts  who 
were  made  Christians  a  itw  years  ago.  This  country  is  too 
barren  and  poor  for  the  Portuguese  to  live  in,  and  the  Chris- 
tian inhabitants  here  have  had  no  priests ;  they  just  know  that 
they  are  Christians  and  nothing  more.  There  is  no  one  to 
say  mass  for  them ;  no  one  to  teach  them  the  Creed,  the  Pater, 
the  Ave  Maria,  and  the  Ten  Commandments  of  God.  So  I 
have  been  incessantly  occupied  ever  since  I  came  here.  I 
went  diligently  through  the  villages  one  after  another,  and 
baptized  all  the  children  who  had  not  yet  been  baptized.  In 
this  way  I  have  christened  a  multitude  of  children  who,  as  the 
saying  is,  did  not  know  their  right  hand  from  their  left.  Then 
the  young  boys  would  never  let  me  say  office,  or  eat,  or  sleep, 
till  I  had  taught  them  some  prayer.  It  made  me  understand 
for  the  first  time  that  '  of  such  is  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven.'-"* 
Their  petition  was  too  pious  for  me  to  refuse  it  without  im- 
piety, so  I  began  with  the  profession  of  belief  in  the  Father, 
Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,*  and  then  taught  them  the  Apostles' 
Creed,  the  Pater  Noster,  and  the  Ave  Maria.  I  have  found 
very  great  intelligence  among  them:  and  if  they  had  any  one 
to  instruct  them  in  religion,  I  doubt  not  they  would  turn  out 
excellent  Christians. 

3  Latin  in  the  original :  talium  esse  rcg/mm  ccelorutn. 

*  That  is,  the  sign  of  the  Cross,  with  the  words  which  usimlly  accompany  it. 

Ajiiong  the  Paravas,  147 

One  day  I  turned  out  of  my  road  into  a  village  of  heathens, 
where  no  one  was  willing  to  become  Christian,  though  all  the 
neighbouring  villages  had  been  converted,  because  they  said 
that  the  lord  of  their  territory,  a  heathen,  had  forbidden  his 
people  to  do  so.  There  was  there  a  woman  with  child,  who 
had  been  three  days  in  labour  with  so  much  difficulty,  that 
many  despaired  of  her  life.  Their  prayers  for  her  were  not 
heard,  for  the  prayer  of  the  wicked  is  an  abomination  in  the 
eyes  of  God,  because  the  gods  of  the  heathen  are  all  devils.^ 
I  went,  with  one  of  my  companions,  to  the  sick  woman's  house, 
and  began  with  confidence  to  call  upon  the  Name  of  the 
Lord,^  forgetting  that  I  was  in  a  strange  land.  I  thought  of  that 
text,  '  The  earth  is  the  Lord's  and  the  fulness  thereof,  the  com- 
pass of  the  world  and  all  that  dwell  therein.'^  So  I  began, 
through  an  interpreter,  to  explain  to  her  the  articles  of  our 
religion  ;  and  by  the  mercy  of  God,  this  woman  believed  what 
we  taught  her.  At  last  I  asked  her  whether  she  wished  to  be 
a  Christian.  She  replied  that  she  would,  and  gladly.  Then  I 
recited  a  Gospel  over  her — it  was  the  first  time,  I  suppose, 
that  such  words  had  been  heard  in  those  countries.  I  duly 
gave  her  Baptism.  Not  to  make  a  long  story,  immediately 
after  Baptism  this  good  soul,  who  had  put  her  hope  in  Christ,^ 
and  believed,  was  delivered  of  her  child  ;  and  I  afterwards  bap- . 
tized  her  husband,  his  children,  the  infant  (on  the  day  of  its 
birth),  and  all  the  family.  The  whole  village  was  soon  full 
of  the  news  of  the  miracle  which  God  had  wrought  in  that 
house.  I  went  to  the  chiefs  and  bade  them  in  the  Name  of 
God  to  acknowledge  His  Son  Jesus  Christ,  in  Whom  alone 
the  salvation  of  all  mortals  is  placed.  They  said  they  could 
not  venture  to  leave  the  religion  of  their  ancestors  without  the 
permission  of  their  master.  Then  I  went  to  the  steward  of 
this  chief,  who  happened  to  be  there  to  exact  some  taxes  due 

5  qttonlam  omnes  dii  gentkim  d(emonla.  (Orig.) 
s  itivocare  namen  Domini.  (Orig.) 

7  Domini  est  terra  et plenitudo  ejus,  orbis  terrarvm,  et  uttiversi  qui  habi- 
tant in  eo.  (Orig.) 

8  quce  in  Christo  speravit  ct  credidit,  (Orig. ) 

148  St.  Irancis  Xavkr, 

to  his  lord.  When  he  had  heard  me  speak  about  religion,  he 
declared  that  he  thought  it  a  good  thing  to  be  a  Christian, 
and  that  he  gave  leave  to  all  who  liked  it  to  embrace  the  re- 
ligion of  Jesus  Christ.  But  though  he  gave  this  good  advice 
to  others  he  did  not  practise  it  himself.  However,  the  chief 
people  of  the  place,  with  their  whole  households,  were  the  first 
to  embrace  the  faith,  the  rest  followed  their  example,  and  so 
all,  of  every  class  and  every  age,  received  Baptism.  This  work 
done,  we  went  straight  to  Tuticorin.  The  people  there  re- 
ceived us  very  kindly,  and  we  have  begun  to  hope  that  we 
shall  reap  an  abundant  harvest  of  souls  in  these  parts. 

The  Governor  is  wonderfully  fond  of  and  kind  to  these 
converts,  and  not  long  ago  gave  them  help  against  the  Mus- 
sulmans who  were  annoying  them.  Most  of  them  are  fisher- 
men living  on  the  coast,  and  supporting  themselves  and  their 
families  by  the  fishery,  chiefly  of  pearls.  The  Mussulmans 
had  lately  carried  off  the  barks  which  they  use  in  this  fishery. 
When  the  Governor  heard  this,  he  attacked  the  Mussulmans 
with  a  strong  squadron,  defeated  them  with  great  slaughter, 
and  took  away  all  their  ships.9  He  gave  the  richer  converts 
their  own  barks  back  again,  and  made  the  poorer  presents  of 
the  Mussulmans'  boats,  thus  crowning  his  victory  by  a  signal 
act  of  generosity.  He  himself  had  had  experience  of  the  as- 
sistance of  God  in  his  victory,  and  he  wished  to  let  the  Chris- 

9  The  Portuguese  annals  of  India  relate  two  expeditions  of  Martin  Alfonso 
de  Sousa,  which  may  possibly  have  included  this  act  of  justice  in  favour  of  the 
Paravas,  but  the  dates  are  not  distinctly  given.  It  was  probably  in  1542,  the 
same  year  in  which  Francis  Xavier  first  went  among  the  Paravas,  that  the 
Governor  with  a  large  force  went  to  Batecala,  a  city  in  the  territory  of  Canara, 
'about  25  leagues  from  Goa'  to  the  south  (Baldasus),  the  queen  of  which  was 
accused  of  refusing  to  pay  her  tribute  and  of  harbouring  pirates.  The  town 
was  taken,  and  the  Portuguese  began  to  quarrel  among  themselves  for  the 
plunder.  This  encouraged  the  enemy,  who  put  the  Portuguese  to  flight,  after 
which  the  Governor  in  revenge  burnt  the  city  and  '  destroyed'  the  country. 
'  The  city  ran  with  the  blood  of  all  living  creatures  of  both  sexes  and  all  ages, 
before  it  was  burnt,  and  the  country  was  laid  waste  and  all  the  woods  cut  down' 
(Faria  y  Sousa,  t.  ii.  p.  i.  ch.  xi.).  Later  on,  and  probably  in  1543  or  1544,  the 
Governor  must  have  sailed  along  the  Malabar  and  Fishery  Coasts  with  a  fleet  of 
45  sail,  with  which  he  had  intended  to  attack  and  plunder  a  famous  Pagoda  in 
the  kingdom  of  Bisnaghur,  not  far  from  Meliapor,  called  Tremele.     It  is  said 

Among  the  Paravas,  1 4  9 

tians  experience  his  own  great  kindness  in  their  turn.  The 
Mussulmans  are  quite  cast  down,  and  in  a  state  of  prostration. 
Not  a  man  amongst  them  dares  raise  his  eyes.  Every  one  of 
their  chiefs  has  been  slain,  and  indeed  every  one  else  among 
them  who  seemed  to  be  at  all  powerful.  On  account  of  all 
this  the  converts  love  the  Governor  as  a  father,  and  he  on  his 
side  looks  on  them  as  his  children.  I  can  hardly  tell  you  how 
earnestly  he  commanded  this  newly  planted  vineyard  of  our 
Lord  to  my  care.  He  has  now  got  a  grand  plan  in  view  which 
will  be  a  matter  for  history  to  note  as  well  as  a  great  benefit  to 
religion.  He  thinks  of  collecting  all  these  native  Christians 
who  are  now  scattered  at  great  distances  from  each  other,  of 
transplanting  them  to  a  certain  island,  and  giving  them  a  King 
to  administer  justice  and  look  after  their  safety  and  interests. 
I  am  very  sure  that  if  the  Holy  Father  only  knew  what  great 
pains  this  Governor  of  India  takes  to  advance  religion,  he 
would  give  him  some  mark  of  his  approval  for  his  very  gre^t 
diligence  and  exertions  in  the  holy  cause.  So,  if  you  think 
good,  you  might  manage  that  the  Holy  Father  should  write  to 
him  to  tell  him  how  much  he  is  delighted  with  his  services.  I 
do  not  mean  that  he  should  commend  the  converts  to  his  care, 
for  no  one  can  have  that  matter  more  at  heart  than  he  has 
already,  but  rather  that  he  should  praise  and  thank  this  very 

that  this  assault  was  ordered  by  the  King  of  Portugal  himself,  in  revenge  for 
some  ravages  on  territory  friendly  to  him — it  may  be  ravages  such  as  those  of 
the  Badages,  of  whom  we  shall  hear  in  the  next  chapter— but  it  is  probable 
that  the  great  richness  of  the  heathen  shrine  was  a  part  of  the  attraction.  The 
attempt  was  abandoned,  as  the  design  was  betrayed  and  discovered.  Then, 
as  Faria  y  Sousa  tells  us,  the  Governor  was  persuaded  to  plunder  other  pagodas 
instead  of  that  which  he  had  failed  to  surprize,  and  he  actually  despoiled  a 
pagoda  at  Tebelicate  near  Calecoulan,  which  must  have  been  in  the  territory 
of  Travancore  or  one  of  the  neighbouring  kingdoms.  A  large  sum  of  money 
taken  from  this  pagoda  was  sent  to  Portugal,  and  afterwards  restored  by  order 
of  the  King,  who  disapproved  of  the  breach  of  faith.  It  is  quite  possible  that 
in  either  of  these  expeditions  Sousa  may  have  taken  the  opportunity  to  humble 
the  Mussulman  oppressors  of  the  Paravas  in  the  way  mentioned  by  St.  Francis, 
and  to  do  it  would  have  cost  him  so  little,  as  there  is  no  mention  of  any  Mus- 
sulman force  on  the  spot,  that  it  would  hardly  seem  an  exploit  worthy  of  men- 
tion to  the  Portuguese  annalists. 

50  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

religious  ruler  as  he  deserves  to  be  praised  and  thanked  for 
taking  so  much  care  of  the  interests  of  the  faith,  and  for  watch- 
ing so  solicitously  over  the  flock  of  Christ,  lest  any  part  of  it 
be  torn  to  pieces  and  destroyed  by  those  wolves  of  heathen. 
And  I  would  have  you  write  to  him  yourself  at  all  events,  for 
I  know  how  delightful  your  letter  will  be  to  him.  And  at  the 
same  time  pray  God  for  him,  you  and  all  the  Society,  that  He 
may  grant  him  His  Divine  assistance,  and  the  grace  of  perse- 
verance in  his  good  beginnings.  For  it  is  not  he  who  has 
begun  well,  but  he  who  shall  persevere  to  the  end,  who  will  be 

As  for  myself,  trusting  in  the  infinite  goodness  of  God  and 
In  your  sacrifices  and  prayers  as  in  those  of  all  the  Society, 
I  hope  that  we  shall  see  one  another  again,  if  not  in  this  life, 
at  least  in  that  blessed  life  which  is  to  come,  whose  joys  far 
surpass  all  that  we  could  have  here. 

Your  child  in  Christ, 


Tuticorin  (in  the  Spring  of  1543).!^ 

The  next  letter,  which  is  much  fuller  in  its  account  of  the 
mission  among  the  Paravas,  seems  to  have  been  written  at 
the  end  of  the  same  year  (1543),  after  St.  Francis  had  taken 
Francis  Mancias  back  with  him  from  Goa  to  help  him  in  the 

10  qui persroeraverit  usque  adfinem,  hie  salvus  erit.  (Orig.) 
1^  The  date  of  this  letter  is  differently  given  by  the  two  authorities  Turselline 
and  Cutillas.  It  cannot  have  been  written  in  October  1542,  as  Turselline 
states,  as  it  is  clear  that  the  writer  had  been  some  months  m  the  country— he 
says  that  he  had  spent  four  months  in  translating  the  Catechism,  &c, — and  Fran- 
cis Xavier  did  not  probably  leave  -Goa  before  September  1542.  Cutillas,  who 
has  altered  a  great  many  dates  without  giving  his  authority,  gives  for  this 
date,  May  23,  1543.  He  was  a  careful  writer,  and  had  many  opportunities  of 
ascertaining  the  truth,  as  there  were  several  copies  of  the  Letters,  and  in  some 
cases,  perhaps,  the  originals,  at  Madrid,  where  he  wrote.  In  not  giving  his 
authority,  as  is  now  the  custom,  he  only  did  what  was  usual  in  his  time.  If 
the  letter  was  written  towards  the  end  of  May,  and  the  expedition  of  Martin 
Alfonso  Sousa,  mentioned  in  the  last"  note,  may  be  fixed  for  the  year  1543,  it 
would  be  very  natural  for  St.  Francis,  writing  at  Tuticorin,  to  mention  any 
act  of  protection  to  the  Paravas  which  had  taken  place.  He  tells  us  himself 
above  (p.  141)  that  the  mililary  expeditions  usually  took  place  in  the  time  of 

Among  the  Paravas.  i  r;  i 

work.     Francis  probably  had  some  occasion  to  go  as  far  north 
as  Cochin,  whence  the  letter  is  dated. 

(xiv.)   To  the  Society  at  Rome, 

May  the  grace  and  charity  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help 
and  favour  us  !    Amen. 

It  is  now  the  third  year  since  I  left  Portugal.  I  am  writing 
to  you  for  the  third  time,  having  as  yet  received  only  one  letter 
from  you,  dated  February  1542.  God  is  my  witness  what  joy 
it  caused  me.  I  only  received  it  two  months  ago — later  than 
is  usual  for  letters  to  reach  India,  because  the  vessel  which 
brought  it  had  passed  the  winter  at  Mozambique. 

I  and  Francis  Mancias  are  now  living  amongst  the  Chris- 
tians of  Comorin.  They  are  very  numerous,  and  increase 
largely  every  day.  When  I  first  came  I  asked  them,  if  they 
knew  anything  about  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ?  but  when  I 
came  to  the  points  of  faith  in  detail  and  asked  them  what  they 
thought  of  them,  and  what  more  they  believed  now  than  when 
they  were  Infidels,  they  only  replied  that  they  were  Christians, 
but  that  as  they  are  ignorant  of  Portuguese,  they  know  nothing 
of  the  precepts  and  mysteries  of  our  holy  religion.  We  could 
not  understand  one  another,  as  I  spoke  Castilian  and  they 
Malabar ;  so  I  picked  out  the  most  intelligent  and  well  read 
of  them,  and  then  sought  out  with  the  greatest  diligence  men 
who  knew  both  languages..  We  held  meetings  for  several 
days,  and  by  our  joint  efforts  and  with  infinite  difficulty  we 
translated  the  Catechism  into  the  Malabar  tongue.  This  I 
learnt  by  heart,  and  then  I  began  to  go  through  all  the  vil- 
lages of  the  coast,  calling  around  me  by  the  sound  of  a  bell  as 
many  as  I  could,  children  and  men.  I  assembled  them  twice 
a  day  and  taught  them  the  Christian  doctrine  :  and  thus, 
in  the  space  of  a  month,  the  children  had  it  well  by  heart. 
And  all  the  time  I  kept  telling  them  to  go  on  teaching  in  their 
turn  whatever  they  had  learnt  to  their  parents,  family,  and 

Every  Sunday  I  collected  them  all,  men  and  women,  boys 

152  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

and  girls,  in  the  church.  They  came,  with  great  readiness  and 
with  a  great  desire  for  instruction.  Then,  in  the  hearing  of 
all,  I  began  by  calling  on  the  name  of  the  most  holy  Trinity, 
Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  and  I  recited  aloud  the  Lord's 
Prayer,  the  Hai/  Mary,  and  the  Creed  in  the  language  of  the 
country:  they  all  followed  me  in  the  same  words,  and  de- 
lighted in  it  wonderfully.  Then  I  repeated  the  Creed  by  my- 
self, dwelling  upon  each  article  singly.  Then  I  asked  them 
as  to  each  article,  whether  they  believed  it  unhesitatingly ;  and 
all,  with  a  loud  voice  and  their  hands  crossed  over  their  breasts, 
professed  aloud  that  they  truly  believed  it.  I  take  care  to  make 
them  repeat  the  Creed  oftener  than  the  other  prayers ;  and  I 
tell  them  that  those  who  beUeve  all  that  is  contained  therein 
are  called  Christians.  After  explaining  the  Creed  I  go  on  to  the 
Commandments,  teaching  them  that  the  Christian  law  is  con- 
tained in  those  ten  precepts,  and  that  every  one  who  observes 
them  all  faithfully  is  a  good  and  true  Christian  and  is  certain 
of  eternal  salvation,  and  that,  on  the  other  hand,  whoever  ne- 
glects a  single  ore  of  them  is  a  bad  Christian,  and  will  be  cast 
into  hell  unless  he  is  truly  penitent  for  his  sin.  Converts  and 
heathen  alike  are  astonished  at  all  this,  which  shows  them  the 
holiness  of  the  Christian  law,  its  perfect  consistency  with  itself, 
and  its  agreement  with  reason.  After  this  I  recite  our  prin- 
cipal prayers,  as  the  Our  Father  and  the  Hail  Mary,  and  they 
say  them  after  me.  Then  we  go  back  to  the  Creed,  adding 
the  Our  Father  and  the  Hail  Mary  after  each  article,  with  a 
short  hymn;  for,  as  soon  as  I  have  recited  the  first  article,  I  sing 
in  their  language,  ^  Jesus,  Son  of  the  liviug  God,  grant  us  the  grace 
to  beUeve  fir7nly  this  first  article  of  your  faith :  and  that  we  may 
obtain  this  from  you,  we  offer  you  this  prayer  taught  us  by  your- 
self^ Then  we  add  this  second  invocation :  '  Holy  Mary^ 
Mother  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  obtain  for  us  from  your  most 
sweet  Son  that  we  may  believe  without  hesitation  this  article  of 
the  Christian  faitlu  We  do  the  same  after  all  the  other  eleven 

We  teach  them  the  Commandments  in  the  following  way. 
After  we  have  sung  the  first,  which  enjoins  the  love  of  God, 

Among  the  Paravas,  153 

we  pray  thus  :  ^ Jesus  Christ,  Sou  of  the  living  God,  grant  us  the 
grace  to  love  Thee  above  all  things  ;  and  then  we  say  for  this  in- 
tention the  Lord's  Prayer.  Then  we  all  sing  together,  '  Holy 
Mary,  Mother  of  Jesus  Christ,  ohtai7ifor  us  from  your  Son  the 
grace  to  observe  perfectly  the  first  of  His  Commandments  ;  and 
then  we  say  the  Hail  Mary.  So  we  go  on  through  the  other 
nine,  changing  the  words  of  our  little  invocation  as  occasion 
requires.  Thus  I  accustom  them  to  ask  for  these  graces  with 
the  ordinary  prayers  of  the  Church,  and  I  tell  them  at  the 
same  time  that  if  they  obtain  them,  they  will  have  all  other 
things  that  they  can  wish  for  more  abundantly  than  they  would 
be  able  to  ask  for  them.  I  make  them  all,  and  particularly 
those  who  are  to  be  baptized,  repeat  the  form  of  general  con- 
fession. These  last  I  question  after  each  article  of  the  Creed 
as  it  is  recited,  whether  they  believe  it  firmly ;  and  after  they 
have  answered  yes,  I  give  them  an  instruction  in  their  own 
language  explaining  the  chief  heads  of  the  Christian  religion, 
and  the  duties  necessary  to  salvation.  Last  of  all,  I  admit 
them  thus  prepared  to  baptism.  The  instruction  is  ended  by 
the  Salve  Regina,  begging  the  aid  and  help  of  our  Blessed  Lady. 

As  to  the  numbers  who  become  Christians,  you  may  under- 
stand them  from  this,  that  it  often  happens  to  me  to  be  hardly 
able  to  use  my  hands  from  the  fatigue  of  baptizing  :  often  in  a 
single  day  I  have  baptized  whole  villages.  Sometimes  I  have 
lost  my  voice  and  strength  altogether  with  repeating  again  and 
again  the  Credo  and  the  other  forms. 

The  fruit  that  is  reaped  by  the  baptism  of  infants,  as  well 
as  by  the  instruction  of  children  and  others,  is  quite  incredible. 
These  children,  I  trust  heartily,  by  the  grace  of  God,  will  be 
much  better  than  their  fathers.  They  show  an  ardent  love  for 
the  Divine  law,  and  an  extraordinary  zeal  for  learning  our  holy 
religion  and  imparting  it  to  others.  Their  hatred  for  idolatry 
is  marvellous.  They  get  into  feuds  with  the  heathen  about  it, 
and  whenever  their  own  parents  practise  it,  they  reproach  them 
and  come  off  to  tell  me  at  once.  Whenever  I  hear  of  any  act  of 
idolatrous  worship,  I  go  to  the  place  with  a  large  band  of  these 
children,  who  very  soon  load  the  devil  with  a  greater  amount 

154  ^^'  Francis  Xavier, 

of  insult  and  abuse  than  he  has  lately  received  of  honour  and 
worship  from  their  parents,  relations,  and  acquaintances.  The 
children  run  at  the  idols,  upset  them,  dash  them  down,  break 
them  to  pieces,  spit  on  them,  trample  on  them,  kick  them 
about,  and  in  short  heap  on  them  every  possible  outrage. 

I  had  been  living  for  nearly  four  months  in  a  Christian 
village,  occupied  in  translating  the  Catechism.  A  great  number 
of  natives  came  from  all  parts  to  entreat  me  to  take  the  trouble 
to  go  to  their  houses  and  call  on  God  by  the  bedsides  of  their 
sick  relatives.  Such  numbers  also  of  sick  made  their  own  way 
to  us,  that  I  had  enough  to  do  to  read  a  GospeP^  over  each  of 
them.  At  the  same  time  we  kept  on  with  our  daily  work,  in- 
structing the  children,  baptizing  converts,  translating  the  Cate- 
chism, answering  difficulties,  and  burying  the  dead.  For  my 
part  I  desired  to  satisfy  all,  both  the  sick  who  came  to  me 
themselves,  and  those  who  came  to  beg  on  the  part  of  others, 
lest  if  I  did  not,  their  confidence  in,  and  zeal  for,  our  holy  reli- 
gion should  relax,  and  I  thought  it  wrong  not  to  do  what  I 
could  in  answer  to  their  prayers.  But  the  thing  grew  to  such 
a  pitch  that  it  was  impossible  for  me  myself  to  satisfy  all,  and 
at  the  same  time  to  avoid  their  quarrelling  among  themselves, 
every  one  striving  to  be  the  first  to  get  me  to  his  own  house ; 
so  I  hit  on  a  way  of  serving  all  at  once.  As  I  could  not  go 
myself,  I  sent  round  children  whom  I  could  trust  in  my  place. 
Tliuey  went  to  the  sick  persons,  assembled  their  families  and 
neighbours,  recited  the  Creed  with  them,  and  encouraged  the 
sufferers  to  conceive  a  certain  and  wellfounded  confidence  of 
their  restoration.  Then  after  all  this,  they  recited  the  prayers 
of  the  Church.     To  make  my  tale  short,  God  was  moved  by 

12  « to  read  a  Gospel,'  i.e.  a  passage  from  the  Gospel,  usually  the  passage 
from  the  first  chapter  of  St.  John,  which  is  read  at  the  end  of  mass  (St.  John  i. 
1-14).  This  it  was  and  is  customary  to  read  over  the  sick,  as  a  profession  of 
faith  in  the  Incarnation.  Another  custom  of  the  same  kind  is  the  carrying 
about  the  person  a  copy  of  this  passage  of  the  Gospel,  in  the  same  way  as  an 
Agnus  Dei  or  a  scapular.  The  Ritual  for  the  Visitation  of  the  Sick  contains 
a  number  of  such  portions  of  the  Gospel,  interspersed  with  appropriate  prayers, 
which  may  be  read  over  the  sick ;  and  St.  Francis  may  probably  mean  any  one 
of  these  when  he  speaks  of  '  a  Gospel'  in  the  text. 

Among  the  Paravas,  155 

the  faith  and  piety  of  these  children  and  of  the  others,  and  re- 
stored to  a  great  number  of  sick  persons  health  both  of  body 
and  soul.  How  good  He  was  to  them  !  He  made  the  very 
disease  of  their  bodies  the  occasion  of  calling  them  to  salva- 
tion, and  drew  them  to  the  Christian  faith  almost  by  force  ! 

I  have  also  charged  these  children  to  teach  the  rudiments 
of  Christian  doctrine  to  the  ignorant  in  private  houses,  in  the 
streets,  and  the  crossways.  As  soon  as  I  see  that  this  has  been 
well  started  in  one  village,  I  go  on  to  another  and  give  the 
same  instructions  and  the  same  commission  to  the  children,  and 
so  I  go  through  in  order  the  whole  number  of  their  villages. 
When  I  have  done  this  and  am  going  away,  I  leave  in  each 
place  a  copy  of  the  Christian  doctrine,  and  tell  ail  those  who 
know  how  to  write  to  copy  it  out,  and  all  the  others  are  to  learn 
it  by  heart  and  to  recite  it  from  memory  every  day.  Every 
feast  day  I  bid  them  meet  in  one  place  and  sing  all  together  the 
elements  of  the  faith.  For  this  purpose  I  have  appointed  in 
each  of  the  thirty  Christian  villages  men  of  intelligence  and 
character  who  are  to  preside  over  these  meetings,  and  the 
Governor,  Don  Martin  Alfonso,  who  is  so  full  of  love  for  our 
Society  and  of  zeal  for  religion,  has  been  good  enough  at  our 
request  to  allot  a  yearly  revenue  of  4000  gold  fanams  for  the 
salary  of  these  catechists.  He  has  an  immense  friendship  for 
ours,  and  desires  with  all  his  heart  that  some  of  them  should 
be  sent  hither,  for  which  he  is  always  asking  in  his  letters  to 
the  King. 

There  is  now  in  these  parts  a  very  large  number  of  persons 
who  have  only  one  reason  for  not  becoming  Christian,  and 
that  is  that  there  is  no  one  to  make  them  Christians.  It  often 
comes  into  my  mind  to  go  round  all  the  Universities  of  Europe, 
and  especially  that  of  Paris,  crying  out  every  where  like  a' 
madman,  and  saying  to  all  the  learned  men  there  whose  learn- 
ing is  so  much  greater  than  their  charity,  '  Ah  !  what  a  miilti' 
iude  of  souls  is  through  your  fault  shut  out  of  heaven  and  fall'uig 
into  hell  F^^   Would  to  God  that  these  men  who  labour  so  much 

13  In  Latin  in  the  original :  Heti,  guam  ingais  animorum  numerus  vcstro 
vitio  exclusus  ccelo  deturbatur  ad  inferos  ! 

1^6  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

in  gaming  knowledge  would  give  as  much  thought  to  the  ac- 
count they  must  one  day  give  to  God  of  the  use  they  have 
made  of  their  learning  and  of  the  talents  entrusted  to  them  ! 
I  am  sure  that  many  of  them  would  be  moved  by  such  con- 
siderations, would  exercise  themselves  in  fitting  meditations  on 
Divine  truths,  so  as  to  hear  what  God  might  say  to  them,^-*  and 
then,  renouncing  their  ambitions  and  desires,  and  all  the  things 
of  the  world,  they  would  form  themselves  wholly  according  to 
God's  desire  and  choice  for  them.  They  would  exclaim  from 
the  bottom  of  their  hearts  :  ^  Lord^  here  am  I ;  send  jue  whither- 
soever it  shall  please  Thee,  even  to  India  /'^-^  Good  God  !  how 
much  happier  and  how  much  safer  they  would  be  !  With  what 
far  greater  confidence  in  God's  mercy  would  they  meet  their 
last  hour,  the  supreme  trial  of  that  terrible  judgment  which  no 
man  can  escape  !  They  would  then  be  able  joyfully  to  use  the 
words  of  the  faithful  servant  in  the  Gospel :  '  Lord,  Thou  gavesf 
me  five  talents;  behold,  I  have  gained  beside  them  other  five  f^^^ 
They  labour  night  and  day  in  acquiring  knowledge,  and  they  are 
very  diligent  indeed  in  understanding  the  subjects  which  they 
study ;  but  if  they  would  spend  as  much  time  in  that  which  is 
the  fruit  of  all  solid  learning,  and  be  as  diligent  in  teaching  to 
the  ignorant  the  things  necessary  to  salvation,  they  would  be 
far  better  prepared  to  give  an  account  of  themselves  to  our  Lord 
when  He  shall  say  to  them  :  '  Give  an  account  of  thy  steiuard- 
ship.'^"^  I  fear  much  that  these  men,  who  spend  so  many  years 
in  the  Universities  in  studying  the  liberal  arts,  look  more  to  the 
empty  honours  and  dignities  of  the  prelature  than  to  the  holy 
functions  and  obligations  of  which  those  honours  are  the  trap- 
pings. It  has  come  to  this  pass,  as  I  see,  that  the  men  who 
are  the  most  diligent  in  the  higher  branches  of  study,  commonly 
make  profession  that  they  hope  to  gain  some  high  post  in  the 
Church  by  their  reputation  for  learning,  therein  to  be  able  to 
serve  our  Lord  and  His  Church.    But  all  the  time  they  deceive 

1^  ut  audirent  quid  in  eis  loqueretur  Domimis.  (Orig.) 
^^  Doinine,  ecce  adsum ;  mitte  me  quocunque  tibi  cordi  est,  vel  usque  in 
Indiam,  (Orig.) 

16  St.  Matt.  XXV.  2o.  17  RecderationemvilUcationistucB.  (Orig.) 

Among  the  Paravas,  157 

themselves  miserably,  for  their  studies  are  far  more  directed 
to  their  own  advantage  than  to  the  common  good.  They  are 
afraid  that  God  may  not  second  their  ambition,  and  this  is 
the  reason  why  they  will  not  leave  the  whole  matter  to  His 
holy  will.  I  declare  to  God  that  I  had  almost  made  up  my 
mind,  since  I  could  not  return  to  Europe  myself,  to  write  to 
the  University  of  Paris,  and  especially  to  our  worthy  Professors 
Cornet  and  Picard,  and  to  show  them  how  many  thousands  of 
infidels  might  be  made  Christians  without  trouble,  if  we  had 
only  men  here  who  would  seek,  not  their  own  advantage,  but 
the  things  of  Jesus  Christ.  And  therefore,  dearest  brothers, 
'  pray  ye  the  Lord  of  the  harvest  that  He  send  forth  labourers 
into  His  harvest.'^^ 

I  wrote  to  you  a  year  ago  about  the  College  which  has 
been  begun  at  Goa,  and  which  is  being  built  with  dispatch.  A 
considerable  part  of  the  building  is  already  finished.  A  great 
number  of  pagan  youths  of  different  nations  are  taught  there. 
Some  learn  Latin,  others  to  read  and  write.  Father  Paul  is 
their  Superior  as  Rector  of  the  College.  He  says  mass  for 
them  every  day,  hears  their  confessions,  and  gives  them  reli- 
gious instruction  continually.  The  College  is  very  large,  it 
will  hold  as  many  as  five  hundred  students,  and  has  revenues 
enough  for  their  support.  Great  sums  of  money  are  given  to 
it  as  alms  by  many  persons,  and  especially  by  the  Governor. 
And  well  indeed  may  all  Christians  give  thanks  to  God  for 
this  seminary,  which  is  called  the  College  of  Santa  Fe  :  for  we 
hope  that  within  a  few  years  multitudes  of  heathens  will  by 
God's  favour  have  become  Christians,  and  that  the  pupils  of 
this  College  will  shortly  be  the  means  of  extending  the  limits 
of  the  Church  far  and  wide  in  the  whole  East. 

We  have  in  these  parts  a  class  of  men  among  the  pagans 
who  are  called  Brahmins.  They  keep  up  the  worship  of  the 
gods,  the  superstitious  rites  of  religion,  frequenting  the  temples 
and  taking  care  of  the  idols.  They  are  as  perverse  and  wicked 
a  set  as  can  anywhere  be  found,  and  I  always  apply  to  them 
the  words  of  holy  David,  ^from  an  tmJioly  race  and  a  wickea 

18  orate  Dominum  viessis  itt  miitat  operarlos  in  inessem  suajn,  (Orig.) 

15^  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

and  crafty  man  deliver  me^  O  Lord.'''^^  They  are  liars  and  cheats 
to  the  very  backbone.  Their  whole  study  is,  how  to  deceive 
most  cunningly  the  simplicity  and  ignorance  of  the  people. 
They  give  out  publicly  that  the  gods  command  certain  offer- 
ings to  be  made  to  their  temples,  which  offerings  are  simply 
the  things  that  the  Brahmins  themselves  wish  for,  for  their  own 
maintenance  and  that  of  their  wives,  children,  and  servants. 
Thus  they  make  the  poor  folk  believe  that  the  images  of  their 
gods  eat  and  drink,  dine  and  sup  like  men,  and  some  devout 
persons  are  found  who  really  offer  to  the  idol  twice  a  day,  be- 
fore dinner  and  supper,  a  certain  sum  of  money.  The  Brahmins 
eat  sumptuous  meals  to  the  sound  of  drums,  and  make  the 
ignorant  believe  that  the  gods  are  banqueting.  When  they  are 
in  need  of  any  supplies,  and  even  before,  they  give  out  to  the 
people  that  the  gods  are  angry  because  the  things  they  have 
asked  for  have  not  been  sent,  and  that  if  the  people  do  not 
take  care,  the  gods  will  punish  them  by  slaughter,  disease,  and 
the  assaults  of  the  devils.  And  the  poor  ignorant  creatures, 
with  the  fear  of  the  gods  before  them,  obey  them  implicitly. 
These  Brahmins  have  barely  a  tincture  of  literature,  but  they 
make  up  for  their  poverty  in  learning  by  cunning  and  malice. 
Those  who  belong  to  these  parts  are  very  indignant  with  me 
for  exposing  their  tricks.  Whenever  they  talk  to  me  with  no 
one  by  to  hear  them  they  acknowledge  that  they  have  no  other 
patrimony  but  the  idols,  by  their  lies  about  which  they  procure 
their  support  from  the  people.  They  say  that  I,  poor  crea- 
ture as  I  am,  know  more  than  all  of  them  put  together.  They 
often  send  me  a  civil  message  and  presents,  and  make  a  great 
complaint  when  I  send  them  all  back  again.  Their  object  is 
to  bribe  me  to  connive  at  their  evil  deeds.  So  they  declare 
that  they  are  convinced  that  there  is  only  one  God,  and  that 
they  will  pray  to  Him  for  me.  And  I,  to  return  the  favour, 
answer  whatever  occurs  to  me,  and  then  lay  bare,  as  far  as 
I  can,  to  the  ignorant  people  whose  blind  superstitions  have 
made  them  their  slaves,  their  imposture  and  tricks,  and  this 
has  induced  many  to  leave  the  worship  of  the  false  gods,  and 

19  Psalm  xlii.  i. 

Among  the  Paravas,  159 

eagerly  become  Christians.  If  it  were  not  for  the  opposition 
of  the  Brahmins,  we  should  have  them  all  embracing  the  reli- 
gion of  Jesus  Christ. 

The  heathen  inhabitants  of  the  country  are  commonly 
ignorant  of  letters,  but  by  no  means  ignorant  of  wickedness. 
All  the  time  I  have  been  here  in  this  country  I  have  only  con- 
verted one  Brahmin,  a  virtuous  young  man,  who  has  now  un- 
dertaken to  teach  the  Catechism  to  children.  As  I  go  through 
the  Christian  villages,  I  often  pass  by  the  temples  of  the  Brah- 
mins, which  they  call  pagodas.  One  day  lately,  I  happened 
to  enter  a  pagoda  where  there  were  about  two  hundred  of 
them,  and  most  of  them  came  to  meet.  me.  We  had  a  long 
conversation,  after  which  I  asked  them  what  their  gods  enjoined 
them  in  order  to  obtain  the  life  of  the  blessed.  There  was  a 
long  discussion  amongst  them  as  to  who  should  answer  me. 
At  last,  by  common  consent,  the  commission  was  given  to  one 
of  them,  of  greater  age  and  experience  than  the  rest,  an  old 
man,  of  more  than  eighty  years.  He  asked  me  in  return,  what 
commands  the  God  of  the  Christians  laid  on  them.  I  saw  the 
old  man's  perversity,  and  I  refused  to  speak  a  word  till  he  had 
first  answered  my  question.  So  he  was  obliged  to  expose  his 
ignorance,  and  replied  that  their  gods  required  two  duties  of 
those  who  desired  to  go  to  them  hereafter,  one  of  which  was 
to  abstain  from  killing  cows,  because  under  that  form  the  gods 
were  adored;  the  other  was  to  show  kindness  to  the  Brahmins, 
who  were  the  worshippers  of  the  gods.^o  This  answer  moved 
my  indignation,  for  I  could  not  but  grieve  intensely  at  the 
thought  of  the  devils  being  worshipped  instead  of  God  by 
these  blind  heathen,  and  I  asked  them  to  listen  to  me  in  turn. 
Then  I,  in  a  loud  voice,  repeated  the  Apostles'  Creed  and  the 
Ten  Commandments.  After  this  I  gave  in  their  own  lan- 
guage a  short  explanation,  and  told  them  what  Paradise  is,  and 
what  Hell  is,  and  also  who  they  are  who  go  to  Heaven  to  join 
the  company  of  the  blessed,  and  who  are  to  be  sent  to  the 
eternal  punishments  of  hell.     Upon  hearing  these  things  they 

20  frimum,  ut  ahstinerent  ccede  vaccarum,  quarum  specie  dii  colerentur ; 
deinde,  vt  Brachmanis  deorum  cultoribus  ben igne  facer ent.  (Orig.) 

i6o  Sf,  Francis  Xavicr. 

all  rose  up  and  vied  with  one  another  in  embracing  me,  and 
in  confessing  that  the  God  of  the  Christians  is  the  true  God, 
as  His  laws  are  so  agreeable  to  reason.  Then  they  asked  me 
if  the  souls  of  men  like  those  of  other  animals  perished  to- 
gether with  the  body.21  God  put  into  my  mouth  arguments  of 
such  a  sort,  and  so  suited  to  their  ways  of  thinking,  that  to 
their  great  joy  I  was  able  to  prove  to  them  the  immortality 
of  the  soul.  I  find,  by  the  way,  that  the  arguments  which  are 
to  convince  these  ignorant  people  must  by  no  means  be  subtle, 
such  as  those  which  are  found  in  the  books  of  learned  school- 
men, but  must  be  such  as  their  minds  can  understand.  They 
asked  me  again  how  the  soul  of  a  dying  person  goes  out  of  the 
body,  how  it  was,  whether  it  was  as  happens  to  us  in  dreams, 
when  we  seem  to  be  conversing  with  our  friends  and  acquaint- 
ance ?  (Ah,  how  often  this  happens  to  me,  dearest  brothers, 
when  I  am  dreaming  of  you  !)  Was  this  because  the  soul  then 
leaves  the  body  ?  And  again,  whether  God  was  black  or  white  ?"^ 
For  as  there  is  so  great  a  variety  of  colour  among  men,  and 
the  Indians  being  black  themselves,  consider  their  own  colour 
the  best,  they  believe  that  their  gods  are  black.  On  this  ac- 
count the  great  majority  of  their  idols  are  as  black  as  black 
can  be,  and  moreover  are  generally  so  rubbed  over  with  oil  as 
to  smell  detestably,  and  seem  to  be  as  dirty  as  they  are  ugly 
and  horrible  to  look  at.  To  all  these  questions  I  was  able  to 
reply  so  as  to  satisfy  them  entirely.  But  when  I  came  to  the 
point  at  last,  and  urged  them  to  embrace  the  religion  which 
they  felt  to  be  true,  they  made  that  same  objection  which  we 
hear  from  many  Christians  when  urged  to  change  their  life, 
— that  they  would  set  men  talking  about  them  if  they  altered 
their  ways  and  their  religion,  and  besides,  they  said  that  they 
should  be  afraid  that,  if  they  did  so,  they  would  have  nothing 
to  live  on  and  support  themselves  by. 

21  num  animus  hominum,  iteni  ut  cccterorum  anivtafttitim,  simul  cum  cor* 
pore  interisset.  (Orig.) 

22  qua  morientis  animus  exiret  ?  qui  fieret  ?  ut  in  somnis  cum  aviicis  fiotis- 
que  versari  nobis  videamur  ?  nuvi  quia  animus  cxiliat  a  corpore  f  denique, 
albusne  a?i  ater  sit  Dcus  f  (Orig.) 

Among  the  Paravas,  i6i 

I  have  found  just  one  Brahmin  and  no  more  in  all  this 
coast  who  is  a  man  of  learning  :  he  is  said  to  have  studied  in 
a  very  famous  Academy.  Knowing  this,  I  took  measures  to 
converse  with  him  alone.  He  then  told  me  at  last,  as  a  great 
secret,  that  the  students  of  this  Academy  are  at  the  outset  made 
by  their  masters  to  take  an  oath  not  to  reveal  their  mysteries,^^ 
but  that,  out  of  friendship  for  me,  he  would  disclose  them  to 
me.  One  of  these  mysteries  was  that  there  only  exists  one 
God,  the  Creator  and  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,  whom  men  are 
bound  to  worship,  for  the  idols  are  simply  images  of  devils.^-* 
The  Brahmins  have  certain  books  of  sacred  literature  which 
contain,  as  they  say,  the  laws  of  God.  The  masters  teach  in 
a  learned  tongue,  as  we  do  in  Latin.  He  also  explained  to 
me  these  divine  precepts  one  by  one ;  but  it  would  be  a  long 
business  to  write  out  his  commentary,  and  indeed  not  worth 
the  trouble.  Their  sages  keep  as  a  feast  our  Sunday.  On  this 
day  they  repeat  at  different  hours  this  one  prayer :  '  I  adore 
Thee,  O  God ;  and  I  implore  Thy  help  for  ever.'^s  They  are 
bound  by  oath  to  repeat  this  prayer  frequently,  and  in  a  low 
voice.  My  friend  added,  that  the  law  of  nature  permitted 
them  to  have  more  wives  than  one,  and  their  sacred  books 
predicted  that  the  time  would  come  when  all  men  should  em- 
brace the  same  religion.-^  After  all  this  he  asked  me  in  my 
turn  to  explain  the  principal  mysteries  of  the  Christian  religion, 
promising  to  keep  them  secret.  I  replied,  that  I  would  not 
tell  him  a  word  about  them  unless  he  promised  beforehand  to 
publish  abroad  what  I  should  tell  him  of  the  religion  of  Jesus 
Christ.  He  made  the  promise,  and  then  I  carefully  explained 
to  him  those  words  of  Jesus  Christ  in  which  our  religion  is 

-3  primum  omnhim  illhisAcademice  discipulos  a  magistris  adigi  sacramento, 
ne  ipsorum  mysteria  enuncient,  (Orig.) 

2-1  unum  esse  Dezim,  cceli  terrceque  conditorem  ac  do7ninum,  illumque  ab 
ipsis  coli  oportere;  nam  idola  nihil  aliud  esse  quam  dcetnonum  simulacra. 

25  Veneror  te,  Deus,  tuamque  opem  in  perpetuum  imploro.   (Orig.) 

26  uxorum  multitudinem  tpsis  naturcB  lege  permitti ;  atque  in  ^uis  litte- 
rarum  monume?iiis  esse,  tempus  aliq7<andofore,  cum  mortales  omnes  utiam  re- 
ligionem  amplccterentur.  (Orig.) 

VOL.    I.  M 

1 62  6V.  Francis  Xavier. 

summed  up:  *He  who  believes  and  is  baptized  shall  be  saved.'^r 
This  text,  with  my  commentary  on  it,  which  embraced  the 
whole  of  the  Apostles'  Creed,  he  wrote  down  carefully,  as  well 
as  the  Commandments,  on  account  of  their  close  connection 
with  the  Creed.  He  told  me  also  that  one  night  he  had  dreamt 
that  he  had  been  made  a  Christian  to  his  immense  delight,  and 
that  he  had  become  my  brother  and  companion.  He  ended 
by  begging  me  to  make  him  a  Christian  secretly.  But  as  he 
made  certain  conditions  opposed  to  right  and  Justice,  I  put  off 
his  baptism.  I  don't  doubt  but  that  by  God's  mercy  he  will 
one  day  be  a  Christian.  I  charged  him  to  teach  the  ignorant 
and  unlearned  that  there  is  only  one  God,  Creator  of  heaven 
and  earth  f^  but  he  pleaded  the  obligation  of  his  oath,  and 
said  he  could  not  do  so,  especially  as  he  was  m.uch  afraid  that 
if  he  did  it  he  should  become  possessed  by  an  evil  spirit. 

And  now  I  have  nothing  more  to  tell  you  except  that  so 
great  is  the  intensity  and  abundance  of  the  joy  which  God  is 
accustomed  to  bestow  upon  those  workmen  of  His  vineyard 
who  labour  diligently  in  cultivating  this  barbarous  part  of  the 
same,  that  for  my  part  I  do  really  believe  that  if  there  is  in  this 
life  any  true  and  solid  happiness,  it  is  here.  It  often  happens 
to  me  to  hear  one  whose  lot  it  is  to  labour  in  this  field  cry  out, 
'O  Lord,  I  beseech  Thee  overwhelm  me  not  7iow  in  this  life  with 
so  much  delight,  or  at  least,  since  in  Thy  boundless  goodness  and 
mercy  Thou  dost  so  overwhelm  me,  take  me  away  to  the  abode  of 
the  blessed.  For  any  one  who  has  once  known  what  it  is  to  taste 
in  his  soul  Thy  i7ieffable  sweetness  must  of  necessity  tJmik  it  very 
bitter  to  live  any  lojiger  without  seeing  Thee  face  to  face? -'^ 

It  is  one  of  my  greatest  consolations,  dearest  brethren,  to 
think  often  of  you,  and  to  call  to  mind  that  sweet  and  tender 
intercourse  with  you  which  God  of  His  immense*  goodness 
vouchsafed  to  me  of  old.    At  the  same  time  it  makes  me  think 

27  Qui  crediderit  et  haptizatus  fuerit  salvus  erit.  (Orig.) 

23  unum  esse  Deum,  cxli  terrceqtte procreatorem,  rcgnafitem  in  cash.  (Orig'.) 

23  QucBsote,  Doviine,  noli  me  tanta  IcBtitia  perfundere  in  hoc  vita,  aut  certe 

quando  pro  tua  iufinita  bonitate  ac  niisericordia  perfu7idis,  transfer  me  in  do- 

micilium  beatorum.     Siquidem,  qui  tuam  se7)icl  dulccdinem  interiore  gustavit 

sensu.  vitam  sine  itio  aspectu  acerbam putct,  necesse  est.  (Orig.) 

Among  the  Paravas,  163 

over  and  feel  very  keenly,  how  much  precious  time  I  then 
spent  uselessly,  and  gathered  so  little  fruit  from  your  holy  ex- 
ample and  conversation,  and  from  your  knowledge  of  the 
things  of  God.  However,  I  owe  it  to  your  prayers  for  me  that 
God  has  given  me  the  blessing,  absent  as  I  am  from  you  in 
the  body,  of  having,  by  means  of  your  care  and  intercession 
for  me,  the  infinite  number  of  my  sins  shown  to  me  from  God, 
and  of  having  courage  and  strength  given  me  to  cultivate  with 
all  diligence  the  soil  of  heathendom.  Endless  thanks  to  God's 
goodness,  and  to  your  charity ! 

Among  the  many  great  blessings  of  my  life  past  and  pre- 
sent, and  for  which  I  have  to  thank  the  mercy  of  God,  I  count 
it  as  the  greatest  that  I  have  heard  the  tidings  of  the  approba- 
tion and  confirmation  of  our  Institute  by  the  Holy  Father.  I 
give  God  endless  thanks  ^hat  He  has  now  at  last  ordained  to 
be  publicly  ratified  by  His  Vicar,  so  as  to  be  remembered  by 
posterity  for  ever,  that  same  rule  of  life  which  He  Himself  laid 
down  in  secret  to  His  servant  our  Father  Ignatius. 

Here,  then,  I  will  leave  off  writing,  begging  of  God  that 
since  in  His  goodness  He  has  united  us  in  a  common  way  of 
life,  and  then  has  separated  us  so  widely  for  the  good  of  the 
Christian  religion,  so  also  He  will  be  pleased  to  bring  us  toge- 
ther again  in  the  abode  and  home  of  the  Blessed.  That  He 
may  grant  us  this  grace,  let  us,  if  you  will,  plead  the  prayers, 
among  others,  of  the  infants  and  children  whom  I  have  bap- 
tized with  my  own  hand,  here,  and  whom  God  has  called  away 
to  His  mansions  in  heaven  before  they  had  lost  their  robe  of 
innocence.  They  are,  I  think,  more  than  a  thousand  in  num- 
ber, and  I  pray  to  them  over  and  over  again,  begging  that  they 
will  obtain  for  us  from  God  that  for  what  remains  of  this  life, 
or  rather  of  this  time  of  exile,  He  will  teach  us  to  do  His  will, 
and  to  do  it  so  completely  as  to  accomplish  all  that  He  re- 
quires of  us  exactly  as  He  Himself  desires  it  to  be  done. 
„       ,.    , .    ^  Francis. 

From  Cochin,  Dec.  31,  1543. 

These  two  letters  are  all  that  remain  to  us  from  St;  Francis 
himself  as  to  what  we  may  call  the  first  period  of  his  preaching 

164  St.  Francis  Xavicr, 

among  the  native  Indians.  It  appears  that  at  first  he  had  no 
one  with  him  but  the  young  students  from  the  College  of  St. 
Paul  or  Santa  Fe  as  his  companions :  Mancias  and  Father  Paul 
of  Camerino  had  not  arrived  from  Mozambique  at  the  time  of 
his  sailing  for  Tuticorin.  He  must  probably  have  returned  to 
Goa  after  some  months  among  the  Paravas,  during  which  visit 
he  might  have  written,  at  the  request  of  the  Governor,  the 
letters  given  in  the  last  chapter  concerning  the  indulgences  and 
other  spiritual  favours  to  be  asked  for  from  the  Holy  Father. 
He  then  returned  to  the  Fishery  Coast,  taking  with  him  Man- 
cias, and  leaving  Father  Paul  of  Camerino  as  Superior  at  the 
College.  As  the  very  interesting  series  of  letters  to  Mancias 
which  we  shall  have  to  give  in  the  next  chapter  does  not  begin 
till  the  March  of  1544,  we  must  suppose  that  up  to  that  time 
Mancias  was  his  companion,  and  was  being  trained  up  foi 
work  by  himself.  He  was  not  as  yet  a  priest.  The  lives  of 
St.  Francis,  which,  as  has  been  said,  are  derived  from  the  pro- 
cesses taken  in  India  and  elsewhere  with  a  view  to  his  canoniza- 
tion,— processes  which  were  begun  almost  as  soon  as  his  death 
was  known  in  Europe, — now  become  our  guides,  giving  us  a 
great  amount  of  information  supplementary  to  that  which  the 
letters  disclose  either  openly  or  by  implication.  A  careful  con- 
sideration indeed  of  the  letters,  if  it  be  enlightened  by  a  know- 
ledge of  the  manner  in  which  the  chosen  servants  of  God  who 
are  called  to  the  Apostolic  ministry  are  assisted  by  Him  on  the 
one  hand,  and  are  wont  to  imitate  our  Lord  in  casting  a  veil 
over  their  own  great  gifts  on  the  other,  will  prove  to  us  that 
there  is  hardly  a  single  feature,  however  marvellous,  in  the  nar- 
ratives of  other  writers  concerning  this  period  of  the  life  of  St. 
Francis,  which  may  not  be  traced  in  some  way  or  degree  in  his 
own  account  of  his  proceedings  given  to  his  brethren  at  Rome 
and  St.  Ignatius,  his  father  and  Superior.  The  whole  picture, 
when  duly  combined,  gives  us  a  very  clear  insight  indeed  into 
the  conditions  under  which  his  ministry  was  carried  on,  and 
enables  us  to  understand  his  marvellous  success. 

It  must  always  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  natives  to  whom 
St.  Francis  was  originally  sent,  the  pearlfishers  of  the  Comorin 

Atnong  the  Paravas,  165 

coast,  were  already  nominally  Christians.  They  had,  as  we 
have  said,  been  baptized  and  very  partially  instructed  some 
years  before  by  Miguel  Vaz  and  others ;  but  the  hardships  and 
dangers  of  a  hfe  among  them  in  a  part  of  the  country  which 
was  very  poor  and  unhealthy,  and  where  there  were  no  Portu- 
guese settlements  or  garrisons — except,  it  would  seem,  at  Tuti- 
corin  and  one  or  two  other  places — were  too  great  for  the  cour- 
age of  the  ordinary  Portuguese  priests,  who  besides  had  plenty 
of  occupation  among  their  own  countrymen  in  the  garrisoned 
cities  and  forts  along  the  coast.  The  work  was  preeminently 
a  work  which  called  for  an  Apostle,  a  man  who  would  combine 
the  heroic  selfdevotion  which  was  required  for  the  full  instruc- 
tion of  these  poor  natives,  with  the  organizing  power  necessary 
for  the  establishment  of  a  perfect  system  of  religious  teaching 
and  administration  of  the  sacraments  among  them,  in  so  much 
completeness  and  fulness  of  growth  as  to  stand  by  itself  after 
he  had  left  the  spot  for  other  fields  of  labour. 

The  beginnings,  as  the  letters  inform  us,  were  toilsome  and 
slow.  The  circumstances  under  which  the  Paravas  had  em- 
braced Christianity  naturally  directed  the  attention  of  Francis 
Xavier  to  the  children,  in  the  first  instance,  as  the  best  hopes 
for  the  future,  and  it  was  his  principle,  as  we  have  seen  in  his 
work  at  Goa,  to  attach  immense  importance  to  elementary  in- 
struction, catechizing,  and  the  like.  His  first  occupation,  how- 
ever, was  the  simple  act  of  charity  to  go  about  and  baptize  the 
infants  who  were  as  yet  unbaptized;  and  to  this,  and  to  the  care 
of  the  sick,  the  dying,  and  the  dead,  we  find  him  afterwards 
recurring  when  he  found  himself  from  time  to  time  unable  to 
communicate  with  the  people  around  him  on  account  of  ignor- 
ance of  their  language.  Then  came  the  great  labour  of  trans- 
lating the  Catechism  into  the  Malabar  tongue,  which  he  tells 
us  occupied  him  and  his  catechists  for  as  much  as  four  months. 
The  next  step  was  to  learn  the  new  Catechism  by  heart,  and 
to  go  from  one  village  to  another  teaching  the  simple  elements 
of  Christian  doctrine  in  the  native  language.  We  may  wiell 
magine  with  what  bright  affectionateness  and  gentle  conde- 
scension the  Saint  made  his  way  to  the  hearts  of  the  swarms  of 

1 66  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

Indian  children  who  gathered  around  him,  who  soon  began  to 
take  so  important  a  share  in  his  missionary  work,  and  whose 
prayers  he  constantly  solicited  when  about  to  incur  any  extra- 
ordinary danger.  After  a  little  time,  as  he  tells  St.  Ignatius, 
the  children  would  not  leave  him  alone ;  he  had  no  time 
after  his  daily  rounds  and  course  of  teaching  to  say  his  office, 
take  his  slight  repast  of  rice  and  water,  or  the  scanty  rest  which 
he  allowed  himself  ^^  They  were  never  tired  of  learning  prayers 
from  his  mouth.  His  evenings  were  also  devoted  to  receiving 
visits  of  persons  who  had  any  questions  to  ask  him  or  wished 
to  consult  him,  and  it  was  then  too  that  he  attended  to  such 
matters  as  bringing  about  reconciliations  or  rectifying  irregular 

The  account  given  in  the  letters  which  we  have  last  in- 
serted of  his  method  of  catechizing  tallies  exactly  with  a  paper 
drawn  up  by  him  for  the  instruction  of  the  catechists  of  the 
Society  in  India,  which  was  long  preserved  in  the  archives  of 
the  College  at  Goa.  The  catechist  is  to  begin  with  the  sign  of 
the  Cross,  and  two  boys  are  to  repeat  in  a  loud  clear  voice  the 
jPaf^r  Noster  (in  the  native  language)  after  him.  Then  he  is  to 
invite  the  people  to  profess  their  faith  and  make  acts  of  the 
three  great  theological  virtues — Faith,  Hope,  and  Charity.  The 
exercise  of  faith  consists  in  the  Credo,  which  is  to  be  gone 
through,  the  people  being  asked  whether  they  firmly  believe 
each  truth,  and  then  praying  to  our  Lord  and  His  Blessed 

30  The  Processes  relate  that  St,  Francis  was  in  the  habit  of  abstaining  not 
only  from  flesh  and  wine,  but  even  from  wheaten  bread,  except  when  he  was 
being  entertained  by  others.  (For  this  they  quote  the  witnesses  examined  on 
oath  at  Goa  and  Bazain.)  The  same  witnesses  testify  that  he  used  to  manage 
that  what  food  he  took  was  not  well  prepared — '  insulse  conditus.'  He  took 
food  only  once  a  day,  and  made  no  difference  whether  he  was  journeying  or 
not.  He  usually  went  on  foot,  and  without  shoes,  living  only  on  roasted  rice, 
which  he  begged  as  he  went  on.  These  facts  are  stated  on  the  evidence  taken 
at  Cochin  and  Bazain.  Massei  tells  us  (also  from  the  Processes)  that  on  certain 
feasts  he  would  have  a  cake  made  of  rice,  and  exhort  his  companions  to  thank 
God  for  such  delicacies,  and  take  what  was  necessary  to  support  them  in  their 
labours  for  souls.  He  seldom  slept  more  than  four  hours,  giving  the  rest  of 
the  night  to  prayer  or  to  visiting  the  sick,  and  he  slept  on  the  ground  with  a 
stone  under  his  head.     These  facts  all  rest  on  the  same  authority. 

Among  the  Faravas.  167 

Mother  to  give  and  obtain  for  them  the  grace  to  do  so,  recit- 
ing the  Pater  Noster  and  Ave  Maria.  In  the  paper  just  men- 
tioned the  Credo  is  summarized,  rather  than  simply  repeated 
article  by  article,  the  truths  about  our  Lord  and  the  Incarna- 
tion \)€m<^  grouped  together,  and  at  the  end,  after  the  people 
had  professed  their  belief  in  the  existence  of  Hell,  Paradise, 
Purgatory,  the  sacraments,  and  all  that  is  taught  by  the 
Church,  the  catechist  instructs  them  to  pray  to  the  Holy 
Ghost  for  His  seven  gifts,  those  especially  which  can  help 
them  to  believe  the  Catholic  faith.  Then  follow  an  act  of 
hope  and  an  act  of  love  and  contrition.  After  this  preliminary 
service,  the  catechist  is  to  proceed  to  the  explanation  of  some 
particular  truth,  or  of  some  virtue,  or  one  of  the  sacraments, 
or  the  doctrine  of  prayer,  and  the  like,  speaking  very  plainly 
and  simply,  and  adding  an  '  example,'  or  story,  at  the  end  to 
illustrate  the  argument.  Then  he  is  to  recite  with  the  boys 
the  form  of  general  confession,  bidding  the  people  meantime 
make  interior  acts  of  contrition  or  sorrow  for  sin  for  the  love  of 
God,  then  three  Ave  Marias  are  to  be  recited,  one  for  the 
absent,  the  others  for  any  particular  intention. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  paper,  which  is  printed 
among  the  Letters  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  by  Poussines  and 
Menchacha,  represents  to  us  quite  faithfully  the  Saint's  way  of 
proceeding  at  those  meetings  of  the  converts.  Perhaps  when 
he  or  any  other  priest  was  present  the  conclusion  would  be 
different.  The  form  is  drawn  up  for  the  use  of  meetings  in 
which  the  catechist  was  a  layman.  He  tells  us  himself  that 
he  had  appointed  some  one  in  each  village  to  look  after  the 
further  instruction  and  catechizing,  and  had  obtained  an  allow- 
ance from  the  Governor  for  the  payment  of  these  persons.  It 
was  his  method,  as  we  shall  see  from  his  letters  to  Mancias, 
to  be  liberal  to  these  schoolmasters  or  catechists,  to  pay  them 
a  part  of  their  salary  in  advance,  to  encourage  them  in  every 
way,  at  the  same  time  letting  them  feel  that  they  were  care- 
fully watched  and  must  be  on  their  guard  not  to  fail  in  their 
duty.  They  were  to  baptize  newborn  infants,  publish  mar- 
riages, preside  at  the  prayers,  and  perform  other  offices  of  the 

1 68  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

same  kind.  The  four  thousand /^;/<2otj"  which  St.  Francis  tells 
us  were  allotted  by  the  Governor  for  the  payment  of  these  cate- 
chists  or  Canacapoli,  as  we  find  them  called,  seem  to  have 
been  taken  out  of  a  sum  paid  out  of  the  revenues  of  India  for 
the  expenses  of  the  wardrobe  of  the  Queen  of  Portugal,  and 
was  supposed  to  keep  her  Highness  in  slippers.  Francis  wrote 
to  her  to  say  that  the  prayers  of  the  poor  Paravas  would  be 
the  best  sort  of  slippers  for  her  to  mount  up  to  Paradise  in.-''^ 

Francis  tells  us  in  the  letter  to  his  brethren  at  Rome,  that 
he  left  a  copy  of  the  Christia7i  Doctrine^  or  Catechism,  in  each 
of  the  villages  when  he  departed,  which  was  to  be  copied  out 
and  frequently  recited.  This  may  perhaps  mean  only  the  form 
of  which  we  have  been  lately  speaking.  But  we  possess  a 
rather  long  explanation  of  the  Apostles'  Creed,  which  he  com- 
posed two  or  three  years  later  for  the  people  of  the  Moluccas, 
and  if  this  was  not  the  identical  statement  of  Doctrine  which 
he  used  when  among  the  Paravas,  it  is  at  all  events  a  fair 
specimen  of  his  teaching  under  this  head,  and  probably  differs 
from  what  he  may  have  drawn  up  on  the  Fishery  Coast  only 
in  being  somewhat  more  elaborate.  In  this  document  he  goes 
through  the  whole  Creed,  giving  a  full  doctrinal  and  historical 
commentary,  which  is  pointed,  as  it  were,  at  the  errors  most 
likely  to  beset  those  for  whose  benefit  it  was  made.  Thus  he 
begins  with  the  Creation,  and  he  points  out  how  the  fact  that 

31  M.  L^on-Pagds  [Lettres  de  S.  Francois  Xavier,  t.  i.  p.  83)  tells  us  that  the 
fanais,  fanes,  or  fanams  were  the  Indian  gold  coins,  much  alloyed,  equal  in 
value  to  12  reals  (about  halfacrown).  Four  thousand  of  these  would  make  500/. 
sterling,  a  very  large  sum  for  the  sixteenth  century.  We  are  almost  inclined  to 
suspect  that  Turselline's  statement  is  right  ;  he  makes  the  money  four  hundred 
crowns.  It  is  also  not  quite  certain  that  there  were  not  two  allowances  :  one 
by  the  Governor,  a  gift  of  a  certain  sum,  and  another,  a  continuation  of  the 
same  gift  as  an  annual  contribution  from  the  Queen.  Turselline  says,  '  This 
said  money  was  accustomed  to  be  paid  to  Queen  Catharine  of  Portugal,  to 
buy  her  shoes  and  pantofles.  Wherefore  Francis  wrote  unto  her  Majesty,  very 
pleasantly  and  piously,  that  she  could  have  no  fitter  shoes  or  pantofles  to  climb 
to  heaven  than  the  Christian  children  of  the  Piscarian  coast,  and  their  instruc- 
tions. Therefore  he  humbly  entreated  her  to  bestow  her  shoes  and  pantofles,  as 
a  tribute,  unto  their  teachers  and  instructors,  thereby  to  make  herself  a  ladder 
to  heaven,  for  she  might  be  glad  of  such  an  occasion,  than  the  which  she  could 
not  perhaps  have  wished  a  better'  (L.  ii.  c,  8,  p.  140). 

Among  the  Paravas.  i  Sg 

God  gave  one  wife  to  Adam  shows  the  unlawfulness  of  poly- 
gamy, as  well  as  of  that  miserable  system  of  concubinage  in 
which  so  many  Christians  in  those  countries  indulged.  He 
also  speaks  strongly  in  the  same  place  against  idolatry,  super- 
stition, dealing  with  the  devil,  and  suchlike  evils.  Each  article 
of  the  Creed  is  attributed  by  him  to  one  of  the  Apostles,  the 
first  to  St.  Peter,  the  second  to  St.  Andrew,  and  so  on  in 
order,  according  to  an  old  tradition  of  which  many  traces  re- 
main to  us.  The  fall  of  the  Angels. and  the  seduction  of  man 
are  related  immediately  after  the  first  article.  The  actual  ac- 
complishment of  the  Incarnation  in  the  fulness  of  time  is  attri- 
buted immediately  to  the  prayer  made  by  St.  Michael  and  the 
holy  Angels  who  had  remained  faithful  to  God  when  Lucifer 
and  his  companions  fell.  After  the  article  in  which  the  birth 
of  our  Lord  is  spoken  of,  a  tolerably  full  account  of  His  life  is 
given  as  an  introduction  to  the  Passion.  After  this  St.  Francis 
gives  a  short  description  of  Limbus,  Purgatory,  and  Hell,  be- 
fore speaking  of  the  descent  of  our  Lord.  The  mystery  of 
the  most  holy  Trinity  is  shortly  explained  before  the  article 
on  the  Holy  Ghost,  in  connection  with  the  sign  of  the  Cross. 
The  sacraments  are  spoken  of  under  the  head  of  the  Com- 
munion of  Saints  and  the  Remission  of  sins. 

These  documents,  when  put  by  the  side  of  what  we  know 
of  the  laborious  manner  in  which  St.  Francis  devoted  himself 
to  catechetical  instruction  everywhere,  and  especially  whenever 
he  found  himself  among  people  so  ignorant  and  simple  as  the 
Paravas  of  the  Fishery  Coast,  enable  us  to  understand  what 
we- are  told  by  missionaries  of  a  later  date  with  respect  to  the 
thorough  knowledge  of  the  Catholic  faith  which  these  Chris- 
tians were  found  to  possess,  as  if  its  doctrines  had  been  en- 
grained in  their  minds.  But  they  do  not  explain  to  us,  nor 
does  anything  that  St.  Francis  Xavier  himself  tells  us  explain  to 
us,  other  facts  such  as  those  which  are  hinted  at  in  the  longer 
of  the  two  letters  now  before  us,  as  to  the  immense  crowds 
which  came  to  place  themselves  under  instruction  and  to  re- 
ceive baptism,  or  as  to  the  extent  to  which  he  was  besieged 
by  requests  to  go  to  visit  and  pray  over  the  sick.     It  is  clear 

170  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

from  his  own  account  that  his  ministry  was  by  no  means 
limited  to  the  instruction  of  the  Paravas  who  had  already  re- 
ceived baptism,  and  of  their  children.  Thousand's  of  heathen 
were  baptized,  and  the  presence  of  the  Father  was  required  on 
all  sides.  What  was  the  attraction  that  brought  so  many  to 
his  feet?  What  was  it  that  made  them  so  ready  to  believe 
that  his  prayers  and  blessing  could  benefit  the  sick,  and  so 
eager  to  fetch  him  to  the  bedside  of  any  of  their  own  relatives 
who  were  in  danger  of  death  ?  His  own  words  to  St.  Ignatius, 
in  that  private  and  familiar  letter  which  seems  to  have  been 
meant  for  him  alone,  his  'best  and  sweetest  Father,'  partly 
lift  the  veil,  for  he  there  speaks  of  the  miracle  wrought  upon 
the  heathen  woman,  who  was  so  safely  delivered  of  her  child 
immediately  after  baptism,  in  language  the  purport  of  which 
can  hardly  be  mistaken.  He  could  write  to  his  own  intimate 
friend  and  guide  of  such  a  miracle,  because  it  was  so  closely 
connected  with  the  administration  of  the  Sacrament  of  rege- 
neration, and  he  could  attribute  it,  as  our  Lord  attributed 
His  own  miracles,  to  the  faith  of  the  person  on  whom  it  was 
wrought :  but,  we  need  hardly  add,  it  would  surprize  us  quite 
as  much  to  find  him  giving  in  other  and  more  public  letters,  or 
even  in  this,  a  long  catalogue  of  miracles  which  had  attended 
and  confirmed  his  preaching,  however  true  the  facts  might 
have  been,  quite  as  much  as  it  would  surprize  us  to  be  told 
that  multitudes  of  persons  of  various  nations  flocked  to  his 
preaching  and  believed  him  to  be  a  teacher  sent  from  God, 
who  had  power  to  heal  the  maladies  of  the  body  as  well  as 
to  enlighten  the  soul,  without  having  had  some  tangible  ground 
for  supposing  that  this  beUef  was  true. 

There  is,  in  fact,  every  fair  reason  for  believing  that  the 
life  of  Francis  Xavier  began  at  this  time  to  be  adorned  by  that 
very  frequent  and  splendid  exercise  of  the  gift  of  miracles 
which  is  from  time  to  time  imparted  to  the  Saints,  especially 
to  those  who  have  the  Apostolical  mission.  None  of  the  great 
Saints  of  God  are  probably  left  altogether  without  gifts  of  this 
kind,  but  they  seem  to  be  especially  frequent,  as,  so  far  as  we 
can  judge  of  such  questions,  they  are  also  especially  natural, 

j^mong  the  Paravas.  1 7 1 

in  the  case  of  great  Apostolic  preachers,  and  this  not  only 
among  the  heathen.  Few  lives  contain  more  illustrious  ex- 
amples of  this  great  gift  than  those  of  St.  Bernard,  St.  Anthony 
of  Padua,  and  St.  Vincent  Ferrer,  all  of  them  great  preachers 
among  Christian  nations,  and  St.  Bernard's  most  marvellous 
period  was  while  he  was  on  his  mission  through  certain  parts 
of  Europe  to  organize  a  crusade.  Like  another  great  gift,  of 
a  more  interior  kind,  of  which  we  shall  have  to  speak  pre- 
sently— that  of  immense  consolation  and  spiritual  joy  amid 
external  sufferings  and  dangers — the  gift  of  miracles  seems  to 
find  its  natural  place  in  the  case  of  the  Saints  who  have  to  do 
exactly  what  the  Apostles  were  sent  to  do,  at  the  time  when 
the  signs  that  were  to  '  follow  those  who  believe'  were  pro- 
mised by  our  Lord — to  *  go  into  the  whole  world  and  preach 
the  Gospel  to  every  creature.'-'^-  The  Processes  which  were  care- 
fully formed  in  India  after  the  death  of  Francis  Xavier  are  abund- 
ant in  their  evidence  as  to  the  magnitude  and  multitude  of  his 
miracles,  and  they  often  speak  particularly  of  those  which  took 
place  on  the  Fishery  Coast  during  this  period  of  his  preaching. 
We  shall  follow  his  former  biographers  in  mentioning  a  few  of 
these;  but  it  must  be  remembered  that  when  the  gift  of  miracles 
has  really  existed,  no  account  which  is  made  up  merely  of  se- 
lections from  those  particular  instances  as  to  which  ocular  and 
sworn  witnesses  happened  to  be  at  hand  some  years  later,  can 
possibly  give  any  but  a  very  inadequate  idea.  It  is  probable 
that  as  St.  John  protests  at  the  end  of  his  Gospel,  that  our  Lord 
did  many  other  signs  *  which  are  not  written  in  this  book,'  and 
that  'if  all  that  He  had  done  were  written,  the  world  itself 
would  not  contain  the  books  which  should  be  written,'  so  also 
the  most  copious  collection  of  evidence  that  the  most  diligent 
inquiry  can  furnish  will  never  give  us  a  true  picture  of  the  daily 
marvels  with  which  the  active  Apostolic  life  of  some  of  the 
more  miraculous  Saints  have  been  illustrated. ^^ 

22  St.  Mark  xvi.  15. 

33  There  are  traces  of  times  in  the  history  of  the  Apostles  when  miracles 
must  have  been  of  daily  and  almost  hourly  occurrence  ;  as  when  '  the  sick  were 
brought  into  the  streets  and  laid  on  couches,  that  when  Peter  came,  his  shadow 

172  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

We  may  begin  by  that  which,  in  the  case  of  the  Apostles 
themselves,  was  the  '  beginning  of  signs/  that  is,  the  gift  of 
tongues.  Many  misconceptions  may  be  current  as  to  the  nature 
of  this  gift  as  imparted  to  the  Apostles  and  others  who  have 
had  to  tread  in  their  footsteps.  Nor  is  there  any  reason  for 
supposing  that  it  always  took  the  same  form  with  them  or  with 
their  contemporaries.  The  *gift  of  tongues/  indeed,  of  which 
St.  Paul  speaks  to  the  Corinthians  and  elsewhere,  was  not  al- 
ways precisely  that  gift  which  enabled  the  Apostles  on  the  day 
of  Pentecost  to  make  themselves  understood  by  men  of  so 
many  different  nations  at  once.  The  natural  interpretation  of 
the  words  of  St.  Luke  (Acts  ii.  4,  6)  seems  to  be,  that  while  the 
Apostles  spoke  with  *  divers  tongues,'  *  every  man  heard  them 
speak  in  his  own  tongue,'  and  that  the  miracle  must  have  been 
twofold, — in  the  possession  of  new  languages  by  the  Apostles, 
and  in  the  hearing  of  the  multitude  that  came  together,  on 
whose  ears  the  same  sound  fell  in  many  different  languages  at 
once.  We  may  add  that  no  one,  as  far  as  we  know,  has  ever 
supposed  that  the  Apostles  and  their  companions  became  ne- 
cessarily possessed  of  all  the  different  dialects  enumerated  by 
the  sacred  historian  in  such  a  manner  as  to  have  them  at  their 
command  for  the  ordinary  purposes  of  life,  so  as  to  have  been 
able  to  read  or  write  them,  to  compose  books  or  catechisms  in 
them,  or  to  be  in  any  way  independent,  where  the  particular 
occasions  for  the  miraculous  gift  ceased,  of  the  ordinary  diffi- 
culties in  intercourse  with  persons  of  different  nations  which 
are  the  results  of  the  confusion  of  tongues.  No  one  has  ever 
supposed  that,  because  St.  Peter  or  St.  Paul  raised  Tabitha 
or  Eutychus  to  life,  either  of  those  Apostles  had  the  power  of 
raising  every  dead  person  they  met  with,  or  of  preserving  them- 
selves from  the  natural  doom  of  death.  Both  these  remarks 
are  necessary  for  the  illustration  of  the  evidence  which  has 

at  the  least  might  overshadow  any  of  them,  and  they  might  be  dehvered  from 
their  infirmities'  (Acts  v.  15);  and  in  the  case  of  St.  Paul  when  God  wrought 
by  his  hand  *  more  than  the  common  miracles  {Svvd/xeis  ou  rds  rvxovaas),  and 
persons  were  healed  and  delivered  from  devils  by  the  touch  of  *  handker- 
chiefs '  that  had  touched  him  (Acts  xix.  li,  12). 

Among  the  Faravas,  1 73 

reached  us  as  to  the  possession  of  the  gift  of  tongues  by  St. 
Francis  Xavier.  This  evidence  witnesses  to  his  having  had  the 
power  of  speaking  freely  and  clearly  in  the  dialects  of  the 
numerous  different  tribes  among  whom  he  preached  in  the 
south  of  India,  and  those  of  Cape  Comorin  and  the  Coroman- 
del  coast  are  particularly  named.  The  same  statement  is  made 
as  to  the  Moluccas,  and  as  to  Japan.  Altogether  it  is  sup- 
posed that  he  must  have  had  to  preach  to  as  many  as  thirty 
different  nations,  a  number  which  will  not  seem  surprizing  when 
we  remember  that  the  witnesses  are  here  speaking  of  tribes, 
with  dialects  of  their  own.  as  separate  nations.  It  is  particu- 
larly stated  in  the  evidence  that  his  possession  of  this  gift  was 
notorious,  and  that  it  was  considered  by  the  natives  themselves 
as  a  mark  of  his  mission  from  God,  and  this  illustrates  the 
words  of  St.  Paul,  that  '  tongues  are  for  a  sign,  not  to  believers, 
but  to  unbelievers.'^*  People  were  led  to  hear  him  and  receive 
the  truths  which  he  preached  by  finding  a  man  who  could 
never  have  learnt  their  language  addressing  himself  to  them 
with  ease,  and  by  observing  that  bystanders  whose  dialect 
differed  from  their  own  were  as  well  able  to  understand  him 
as  themselves.  The  occasions  on  which  this  took  place  were 
when  he  preached  to  a  crowd,  and  we  do  not  find  it  stated 
that  he  could  dispense  with  an  interpreter  for  more  familiar 
conversation ;  nor  is  it  said  that  there  were  never  times  at 
which  he  did  not  possess  the  gift  even  for  public  instructions, 
which  he  was  often  in  the  habit  of  giving  by  means  of  such 

The  gift  of  tongues,  moreover,  was  but  one  of  a  number  of 
marvellous  powers  imparted  to  Francis  in  the  way  and  in  the 
degree  in  which  such  powers  are  often  bestowed  upon  the 
Saints.  The  number  of  his  miracles  on  the  Fishery  Coast  and 
in  the  adjacent  parts  was  so  great,  that  we  are  assured  that 
they  would  of  themselves  fill  a  large  volume.  Some  few  of 
the  more  signal  of  these  miracles  may  be  rapidly  mentioned. 
A  beggar  covered  with  sores  and  putrid  wounds  asked  an  alms 

34  I  Cor.  xiv.  22,  We  hope  to  give  a  short  abstract  of  the  results. of  the  evidence 
as  to  the  gift  of  tongues  in  the  case  of  St.  Francis  further  on  (Book  v.  note  2). 

1 74  ^^'  Francis  Xavier. 

of  him,  and  Francis  washed  him  with  his  own  hands,  drank 
some  of  the  water,  and  sent  him  away  perfectly  cured  and 
sound.  He  was  about  to  say  mass  in  a  little  church  at  Com- 
butur,  when  a  crowd  entered  with  the  corpse  of  a  boy  who 
had  been  drowned  in  a  well.  The  mother  threw  herself  at  the 
feet  of  Francis  Xavier,  who  had  baptized  her  child,  and  im- 
plored him  to  restore  him  to  life.  After  a  short  prayer,  he 
took  the  dead  child  by  the  hand  and  bade  him  arise.  The 
child  rose  up  at  once,  and  ran  to  his  mother.  One  of  two 
youths  who  accompanied  him  as  catechists  was  bitten  at  night 
in  the  foot  by  a  cobra  da  capello,  and  was  found  in  the  morn- 
ing to  be  dead.  Francis  touched  the  foot  with  the  saliva  from 
his  mouth,  made  the  sign  of  the  Cross  over  him,  took  him  by 
the  hand  and  bade  him  rise  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ.  He 
rose  at  once,  and  was  able  to  continue  on  their  journey  im- 
mediately, as  if  he  had  been  simply  asleep.  There  are  other 
cases  related  of  his  raising  the  dead  in  this  part  of  the  country, 
and  it  is  even  stated  in  the  Processes  that  one  of  the  children 
whom  he  used  to  send  about  in  his  name  to  the  sick  raised 
two  dead  persons  to  life. 

We  have  here  touched  upon  another  class  of  the  prodigies 
wrought  by  Francis  Xavier — those  which  were  brought  about 
by  means  of  the  Christian  children.  He  mentions  in  his  letter 
■given  above,  that  such  things  frequently  took  place,  but  he 
omits  to  add  that  the  children  usually  armed  themselves  with 
something  belonging  to  him,  his  rosary,  or  reliquary,  or  cruci- 
fix, and  that  after  they  had  recited  the  prayers  of  the  Church 
and  asked  the  sick  person  whether  he  were  ready  to  receive 
the  Christian  faith,  they  used  to  make  the  sign  of  the  Cross 
over  him,  and  that  complete  restoration  to  health  ordinarily 
followed.  The  same  method  availed  sometimes  even  for  driv- 
ing out  devils.  These  children,  as  has  been  said,  play  quite 
an  important  part  in  this  wonderful  mission  of  the  Fishery 
Coast.  They  instructed  their  own  parents  in  the  truths  which 
they  themselves  had  learnt  at  school,  they  witnessed  against 
them  fearlessly  in  case  of  their  quarrelling  or  using  bad  language, 
they  were  keen  after  any  one  who  made  idols  or  got  drunk^ 

Among  the  Paravas,  ly^ 

and  their  greatest  delight  of  all  was  to  assist  at  the  demolition 
of  the  idols  in  the  heathen  temples. 

The  opposition  which  Francis  everywhere  met  with  from 
the  Brahmins  was  natural  and  to  be  expected,  and  in  the  let- 
ter to  his  friends  at  Rome  he  speaks  of  them  as  he  had  found 
them.  The  Paravas,  for  whom  he  principally  laboured,  were 
of  a  low  caste,  and  it  is  not  likely  that  Francis  had  come  across 
any  very  perfect  information  as  to  the  extremely  powerful  in- 
fluence which  the  system  of  castes  exercises  on  Indian  society. 
More  than  half  a  century  was  to  elapse  before  the  attempt 
made  by  the  saintly  Robert  de'  Nobili  at  Madura  to  convert 
the  higher  castes  of  the  Indians,  for  which  purpose  he  was 
obliged  to  separate  himself  entirely  from  the  Portuguese,  who, 
though  still  in  unbroken  power  and  empire  in  India,  were  held 
in  abomination  as  men  who  ate  beef,  drank  intoxicating  drinks, 
and  held  communication  with  pariahs.  The  great  ascendancy 
given  to  Francis  Xavier  by  his  character  for  sanctity,  his  mira- 
cles, his  preternatural  devotion  to  labours  and  sufferings  of 
every  kind  for  the  benefit  of  others,  is  shown  in  the  sort  of  de- 
ference which  the  Brahmins  seemed  to  have  felt  obliged  to  pay 
him,  if  not  from  their  own  convictions,  at  least  out  of  regard 
or  fear  for  the  popular  opinion  concerning  him.  He  has  spoken 
at  some  length  concerning  them,  but  he  is  entirely  silent  in  the 
letters  which  we  have  as  yet  seen  concerning  another  class  of 
opponents,  who  were  perhaps  more  mischievous  to  the  cause 
of  religion,  and  who  were  certainly  causes  to  him  of  far  more 
intense  suffering.  These  foes  were  some  of  the  Portuguese,  and, 
among  them,  many  officers  in  the  service  of  the  crown  and  in 
posts  of  authority  along  the  coast,  who  treated  the  Indians  in 
general,  without  making  any  exception  in  favour  of  the  newly 
made  Christians,  with  every  kind  of  cruelty  and  injustice.  If 
we  were  to  judge  only  from  the  letters  given  above,  comparing 
them  with  others  which  we  shall  presently  have  to  translate, " 
we  might  imagine  that,  in  respect  at  least  of  any  annoyance  or 
opposition  which  might  or  might  not  have  been  met  with  from 
these  representatives  of  a  Catholic  nation  and  sovereign,  the 
first  year  of  the  preaching  of  Francis  among  the  Fishers  of 

I  yd  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

Cape  Comorin  was  a  time  of  peace  and  unchequered  progress 
and  victory  in  the  cause  of  God.  But  the  letters  to  Mancias, 
which  we  shall  have  to  give  in  our  next  chapter,  reveal  a  state 
of  things  the  existence  of  which  is  not  compatible  with  such 
a  supposition.  The  miseries  brought  upon  the  Indian  Chris- 
tians from  the  misconduct  and  rapacity  of  the  Portuguese  are 
not  there  spoken  of  as  anything  new,  but  rather  as  old  sores, 
which  have  long  been  festering,  and  which  have  almost  deter- 
mined St.  Francis  to  give  up  his  mission  altogether. 

We  have  now,  perhaps,  gone  through  the  principal  elements 
which  must  be  combined  and  blended  if  we  are  to  give  our- 
selves some  faint  picture  of  the  daily  life  of  Francis  Xavier  at 
this  period.  It  was  a  life  of  very  great  hardships,  courted  and 
even  enhanced  by  his  heroic  spirit  of  mortification,  and  his 
ingenious  love  for  poverty  and  humiliation.  It  was  a  life  of 
incessant  labour,  toilsome  service  in  waiting  on  the  sick,  in- 
structing the  ignorant  and  the  children,  burying  the  dead,  set- 
tling disputes,  listening  to  questions,  and  answering  difficulties; 
but  every  pain  and  fatigue  \^as  sweetened  and  gilded  by  the 
intense  charity  which  animated  every  action.  It  was,  as  we 
shall  be  able  to  show  more  fully  in  the  next  chapter,  a  life 
liable  to  frequent  changes  and  interruptions,  in  which  sudden 
dangers  had  to  be  met,  great  exertions  were  called  for,  con- 
summate prudence,  ready  resolution,  and  rapid  decision  re- 
quired to  ensure  safety  and  avert  calamity,  and,  as  will  also  be 
seen  from  the  letters  to  Mancias,  it  was  a  life  of  great  solitude 
in  the  midst  of  crowds  and  of  the  busiest  occupation,  if  soli- 
tude is  to  be  measured  by  the  absence  of  true  companionship 
and  sympathy.  It  was  a  life  beset  by  frequent  risks  and  deadly 
hostility,  and  the  darling  aim  of  which  was  constantly  and 
fatally  thwarted  by  persons  who  ought  to  have  been  the  first 
to  further  it  with  the  utmost  devotion.  It  was  made  splendid 
and  luminous  to  the  whole  populations  among  whom  Francis 
was  moving  by  the  habitual  exercise  of  the  gift  of  miracles,  and 
by  a  repetition  of  the  external  wonders  which  had  astonished 
and  helped  to  convert  the  hearers  of  the  Apostles.  We  are  told 
that  in  Portugal  the  name  of  'Apostle'  clung  to  the  members 

Among  the  Paravas,  177 

of  the  Society  on  account  of  the  impression  produced  by  the 
life  and  teaching  of  Francis  and  Simon  Rodriguez.  On  the 
Fishery  Coast  Francis  now  came  to  be  commonly  spoken  of 
as  *  the  Holy  Father.' 

A  few  more  words  complete  what  we  know  of  this  period. 
To  all  these  features  we  must  add  another,  to  name  which  is 
to  name  that  which  to  Francis  himself  was  overwhelmingly  pre- 
dominant, and  gave  its  own  character  to  the  whole  tenour  of 
his  existence,  and  yet  which  it  is  given  to  few,  and  those  only 
men  like  himself,  even  to  understand  in  any  perfect  measure. 
More  than  once  he  bursts  out  in  his  letters  about  that  which 
is  usually  the  treasured  secret  of  souls  like  his,  but  as  to  which 
either  he  was  unable  to  keep  silence,  or  he  thought  it  well  to 
speak  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  encouragement  of  others 
to  tread  in  the  same  path  of  devotion  to  the  cause  of  the  con- 
version of  the  heathen.  This  feature  was  the  immense  over- 
powering sweetness  and  consolation  with  which  God  so  often 
flooded  his  whole  soul — the  joy  which  he  felt  too  much  for  him 
here  below,  so  that  he  was  fain  to  pray  that  either  that  intense 
rapturous  delight  might  be  modified,  or  he  might  be  taken 
away  to  see  without  interruption  or  veil  the  Face  of  God  from 
Whom  it  came.  The  present  reward  of  his  share  in  Aposto- 
lical labours  was  a  share  also  in  the  incommunicable  consola- 
tions which  are  the  peculiar  privilege  of  such  ministrations — 
consolations  which  none  but  those  who  have  tasted  them  can 
ever  distantly  imagine,  and  which  reflect,  perhaps,  in  some  faint 
degree  the  joy  of  the  Good  Shepherd  Himself  when  'He  re- 
joiced in  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  said,  I  confess  to  Thee,  O  Father, 
Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,  because  Thou  hast  hidden  these 
things  from  the  wise  and  prudent,  and  hast  revealed  them  to 
little  ones. '3^  When  we  consider  that  interior  and  sensible 
happiness  of  this  kind  was  probably  as  habitual  to  Francis 
Xavier  at  this  time  as  the  gift  of  miracles,  we  are  able  to  see 
in  part  how  very  faint  an  idea  can  be  formed  from  without  of 
the  conditions  and  characteristics  of  an  existence  such  as  his. 

^  L^ike  X.  21. 
VOL.  I.  N 


The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore, 

We  have  seen  how,  in  his  letters  to  Europe,  Francis  Xavier 
made  no  mention  of  two  very  important  though  very  different 
elements  which  inflHenced  in  no  slight  degree,  in  their  several 
ways,  the  life  which  he  led  at  the  time  of  which  we  are  now 
speaking.  He  made  no  mention  either  of  the  multitude  of  con- 
stantly recurring  miracles  by  which  his  mission  was  authenti- 
cated, or,  on  the  other  hand,  of  the  frequent  obstacles  placed 
in  the  way  of  the  advance  of  the  Gospel  by  some  of  the  Portu- 
guese officers  and  traders  who  had  dealings  of  various  kinds 
with  the  natives,  either  Christian  or  heathen.  Of  this  last 
element  of  annoyance,  which  probably  in  the  end  prevented 
him  from  attempting  even  more  than  he  did  attempt  for  the 
benefit  of  the  various  tribes  and  kingdoms  in  the  south  of  In- 
dia, we  shall  find  abundant  mention  in  the  series  of  letters  which 
remain  to  us  to  illustrate  the  second  year  of  the  labours  of 
Francis  in  that  part  of  the  world,  and  we  shall  also  find  in  the 
same  documents  a  quantity  of  striking  evidence  as  to  another 
feature  in  his  life  at  this  time,  which  consisted  in  the  compara- 
tive poorness  of  the  tools  with  which  he  had  to  work,  and  the 
entire  absence  from  his  side  of  any  one  whom  he  could  con- 
stantly look  to  as  a  companion  and  a  brother,  as  had  been 
his  lot  when  he  first  began  to  labour  in  Italy  for  the  good  of 

It  is  indeed  the  almost  inevitable  lot  of  the  great  Saints 
who  have  to  labour  as  Apostles  in  the  Church  of  Christ,  and 
especially  of  those  whose  vocation  it  is  to  bear  the  light  and 
grace  of  the  Gospel  to  heathen  nations,  that  they  should  have 
to  work  in  great  loneliness,  and  find  but  little  sympathy  and 
few  congenial  hearts  among   such  companions  as  may  join 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  179 

themselves  to  them.  It  is  almost  a  part  of  the  character  on 
which  the  great  graces  which  are  so  often  given  to  them  are 
grounded,  to  be  tender,  sensitive,  sympathetic,  prodigar  of  af- 
fection to  an  extraordinary  degree,  and  the  quickness,  large- 
ness, warmth,  and  depth  of  their  feelings  are  enhanced  and 
intensified  as  divine  charity  more  thoroughly  penetrates  and 
possesses  them.  But  the  hearts  that  are  most  ready  to  give 
love  are  also  most  eager  for  its  return,  and  most  poignantly 
disappointed  by  its  absence.  The  hearts  of  the  Saints  ap- 
proach more  and  more  nearly  the  intense  delicacy  and  tender- 
ness of  the  Heart  of  the  Saint  of  Saints.  To  one  who  practises 
attentive  and  thoughtful  meditation  on  the  life  of  our  Lord, 
His  own  great  loneliness  will,  perhaps,  sometimes  dawn  in  a 
fresh  and  more  powerful  light,  as  a  feature  in  the  history  of 
which  a  cursory  acquaintance  with  that  history  had  given  him  a 
very  inadequate  idea,  and  we  find  the  same  feature  in  that  pic- 
ture of  the  mind  and  heart  of  the  great  iVpostle  of  the  Gentiles 
which  has  been  drawn  for  us  by  himself  in  his  Epistles,  espe- 
cially, for  instance,  in  the  second  Epistle  to  the  Corinthians, 
and  in  his  Epistles  to  St.  Timothy.  The  Cross  of  the  Sacred 
Heart  itself  was  wrought  to  a  great  extent  by  the  coldness, 
dullness,  and  narrowness  of  those  whom  our  Lord  loved  so 
tenderly,  and  in  this  respect  even  His  friends  and  dearest 
Apostles  had  some  share  in  the  wounds  which  pierced  It. 
One  heart  alone  beat  entirely  and  unceasingly  in  accordance 
with  His  own,  and  from  that  motherly  heart  He  was  often 
separated  outwardly  by  the  Providence  which  guided  His  steps 
on  earth. 

In  the  case  of  St.  Francis  Xavier  it  could  hardly  be  other- 
wise. Almost  every  line  of  his  letters  shows  his  intense 
affectionateness.  He  had  left  the  men  who  had  been  for  so 
long  his  brothers  in  heart  and  life  behind  him  in  Europe,  and 
before  he  set  sail  from  Lisbon  he  had  to  abandon  the  hope  of 
having  even  the  single  companionship  of  Simon  Rodriguez  in 
his  labours  in  the  East.  His  letters  show  us  how  he  yearned 
with  all  his  heart  for  marks  of  their  sympathy  from  a  distance, 
and  how  large  a  part  of  his  thoughts  and  affections  was  ever 

i8o  *S/.  Francis  Xavier, 

occupied  with  them,  and  with  that  other  and  ever  increasing 
band  of  brethren  whom  he  had  never  seen  in  the  flesh,  but 
who  were  so  closely  linked  to  him  by  the  spiritual  ties  which 
united  all  the  members,  living  or  dead,  of  his  religious  Society 
one  to  another.  When  one  lonely  heart  is  thus  joined  to 
many  at  a  distance  who  hav«  abundance  of  companionship  to 
surround  their  daily  life,  it  is  but  natural  that  the  yearning  for 
some  sort  of  communication  should  be  more  deeply  felt  in  the 
case  of  the  first  than  in  that  of  the  last.  So  we  may  suppose 
it  to  have  been  here.  While  Francis  was  full  of  thoughts  of 
his  brethren,  and  writing  to  them  at  every  opportunity,  it 
would  appear — not  indeed  that  he  was  forgotten,  for  St.  Igna- 
tius, to  speak  of  no  other,  was  not  a  man  to  forget  one  who 
had  entered  so  deeply  into  his  heart  as  Francis  Xavier — but 
that  the  multiplicity  of  their  occupations  and  the  immense 
distance  between  them  made  letters  and  communications  to 
him  from  Europe  few  and  far  between.  Other  companions 
whom  he  hoped  for  and  seemed  to  reckon  upon  in  Portugal 
had  failed  him  also.  Those  who  went  with  him,  Father  Paul 
of  Camerino  and  Francis  Mancias,  were  good  and  zealous  in 
their  way,  but  we  are  sorry  to  find  that  they  both  gave  him  a 
good  deal  of  trouble,  nor  were  they  men  at  all  capable  of  re- 
paying in  kind  the  intense  and  watchful  affection  which  he 
lavished  upon  them  so  freely.  We  shall  have  to  make  the 
same  remark  on  some,  at  least,  who  joined  him  from  Europe, 
for  where  there  is  a  great  scarcity  of  able  workmen  in  the 
Church,  and  a  great  demand  for  the  work  of  such  men  at 
home,  it  is  almost  inevitable  that  distant  missions  even  of  the 
highest  importance  should  fare  comparatively  poorly,  and  have 
but  Httle  choice  as  to  the  men  who  are  spared  for  their  needs. 
Francis  had  returned  from  the  Fishery  Coast  to  Goa,  as 
has  been  said,  towards  the  end  of  1543.-^  He  had  some  busi- 
ness to  transact  with  the  Governor,  and  was  probably  more 
open  to  him  about  the  misconduct  of  the  Portuguese  than  to 
his  friends  2X  Rome.  He  must  at  this  time  have  arranged 
about  the  revenue  to  be  allotted  to  the  Canacopoli  out  of  the 
1  Father  Menchacha  places  it  as  early  as  September. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  1 8 1 

money  which  was  usually  paid  for  the  shoes  and  slippers  of 
Queen  Catharine  of  Portugal.  He  found  at  Goa  his  two  com- 
panions from  Lisbon,  Father  Paul  of  Camerino  and  Francis 
Mancias,  and,  after  settling  that  the  former  should  govern  the 
College  of  St.  Paul  for  the  Society,  he  returned  to  the  Fishery 
Coast  with  the  latter,  as  well  as  with  two  native  priests,  Francis 
Coelho  and  Joam  de  Lizana,  with  Joam  d'Artiaga,  a  layman 
who  had  become  attached  to  him  after  having  been  converted 
from  a  worldly  life,  and  some  other  assistants  of  the  same 

We  hear  only  occasionally  of  the  greater  part  of  this  little 
band ;  but  we  may  perhaps  fairly  suppose  that  Francis  Man- 
cias did  not  receive  more  of  the  attention  of  St.  Francis  than 
the  rest,  though  we  happen  by  a  fortunate  accident  to  hear  a 
great  deal  about  him.  We  have  no  accurate  information  as 
to  the  posts  allotted  to  these  different  missionaries  and  cate- 
chists,  and  the  names  of  places  which  occur  in  the  letters 
which  we  are  about  to  insert  are  in  most  cases  names  and 
nothing  more.  It  is  clear,  however,  that  this  little  party  was 
dispersed  among  the  various  villages  of  the  Indians  along  the 
coast,  each  one  having  a  small  circuit  of  his  own  allotted  to 
him,  within  which  he  was  to  keep  passing  from  village  to  vil- 
lage. Mancias  himself  was  probably  the  companion  of  Francis 
Xavier  during  the  earlier  months  of  the  period  of  which  we 
speak.  After  a  time  he  was  placed  by  himself,  and  was,  most 
happily  for  us,  in  constant  need  of  direction  and  encourage- 
ment, which  he  received  from  St.  Francis  in  a  series  of  letters, 
many  of  which  are  most  fortunately  preserved  to  us.  Some  of 
these  letters  are  no  more  than  short  hasty  notes.  Francis 
sometimes  wrote  more  than  one  on  the  same  day,  containing 
repetitions  of  instruction  or  advice,  which  he  sent  by  different 
messengers  so  as  to  make  the  safe  arrival  of  the  contents  more 
sure.  The  letters  to  which  these  were  answers  are  not  in  our 
possession,  but  if  they  were,  they  would  hardly,  perhaps,  add 

2  The  letter  to  the  Society,  last  inserted,  was  written  from  Cochin,  which 
place  Francis  must  have  visited  on  some  business  after  returning  to  tlie  Fishery 

1 82  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

very  much  to  our  knowledge  of  the  character  of  Mancias  him- 
self, which  is  unconsciously  pourtrayed  by  his  correspondent. 
Mancias  was  not  yet  a  priest  when  these  letters  were  written 
(except  the  last).  He  did  not  ultimately  persevere  in  the  So- 
ciety, and  we  can  see  traces  in  the  correspondence  of  some  of 
the  faults  of  character  which  brought  about  his  dismissal.  But 
we  are,  as  we  have  said,  greatly  his  debtor  for  preserving  to  us 
this  series  of  notes  and  letters,  which  make  us,  indeed,  long 
for  more  records  of  the  same  sort,  but  which  still  throw  a 
very  great  light  upon  the  character  of  Francis  Xavier.  Most 
of  these  letters  were  unknown  to  his  earlier  biographers,  and 
they  have  hardly  been  sufficiently  used  even  by  the  later  writers 
on  his  life.  They  come  from  his  heart,  and  enable  us  to  form 
a  far  more  lively  picture  of  the  difficulties  of  his  missionary 
career  in  India  than  if  we  possessed  only  a  simple  narrative 
of  his  labours.  They  certainly  give  us  a  great  idea  of  his  ex- 
treme activity  in  his  correspondence  with  his  fellow  labourers 
and  subordinates. 

Among  the  difficulties  with  which  St.  Francis  had  to  deal, 
we  must  in  the  first  place  reckon  Mancias  himself.  He  seems 
to  have  been  hot  tempered  and  violent,  easily  moved  to  anger 
and  indignation,  apt  to  have  recourse  to  severity  on  every  oc- 
casion, and  at  the  same  time — as  is  often  the  case  with  men 
of  strong  temper — easily  disheartened,  and  wanting  in  energy 
and  perseverance  in  his  wxary  and  apparently  thankless  work. 
This  work  was  neither  specious  nor  easy ;  it  required  strength, 
resolution,  and  immense  patience.  It  was,  as  we  have  seen 
already,  of  the  most  elementary  and  laborious  character.  Fran- 
cis Xavier  had  early  learnt  that  the  greatest  hopes  of  the 
future  Christian  community,  which  was  to  be  formed  out  of 
the  native  population,  lay  in  the  children.  We  have  seen  how, 
writing  to  his  religious  brethren  in  Rome,  after  having  spent  a 
year  on  the  Malabar  coast,  he  spoke  of  the  intercession  made 
in  heaven  for  him  and  his  friends  by  more  than  a  thousand 
children  whom  he  had  baptized  with  his  own  hand,  and  who 
had  died  before  attaining  to  the  age  of  reason.  He  was  always 
zealous  to  baptize  and  cause  to  be  baptized  all  the  newborn 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  183 

children  that  he  and  his  fellow  missionaries  met  with  in  the 
lately  converted  populations,  and  this  was  one  of  the  charges 
which  we  find  him  most  frequently  repeating  in  the  letters  to 
Mancias.  He  had  also  made  provision,  as  we  have  seen, 
for  the  constant  teaching  of  the  Catechism  to  all  children  of 
an  age  to  learn,  appointing  native  masters  in  all  the  villages, 
and  securing  them  a  salary.  These  men  required  continual 
supervision  and  encouragement,  and  it  was  very  necessary  to 
make  them  feel  that  a  watchful  eye  was  kept  over  them,  and 
that  their  salaries  might  depend  on  the  zeal  with  which  their 
duties  were  performed.  Then  there  were  the  meetings  of  the 
adults  on  Sundays  and  Feasts  to  be  looked  to.  Men  and  wo- 
men were  to  be  assembled  separately,  to  repeat  the  Creed,  the 
Commandments,  and  the  prayers  which  Francis  had  taught 
them.  Besides  this,  there  were  the  adults  to  be  baptized  as 
soon  as  they  were  sufficiently  prepared  and  proved,  the  sick  to 
be  visited  and  prayed  over,  the  poor  to  be  attended  to,  and 
numberless  affairs  to  be  settled  by  the  missionary,  who  was  to 
be  father  and  ruler  to  these  ignorant  and  indolent  people  as 
well  as  religious  teacher.  His  time  could  not  be  spent  in  any 
one  place ;  he  was  to  travel  from  village  to  village,  baptizing, 
catechizing,  visiting  the  sick,  examining  the  schools  and  urging 
the  catechists  to  their  duty,  and  as  soon  as  he  had  made  his 
round  through  the  circle  of  country  committed  to  him,  he 
wa,3  to  begin  again  and  again  in  the  same  way.  This  is  what 
Francis  himself  had  done  during  the  first  year  of  his  work 
among  the  natives,  and  to  this  work  he  now  had  to  keep 

The  first  letter  of  the  series  now  before  us  shows  that 
Francis  already  felt  that  his  companion's  courage  was  likely 
enough  soon  to  give  way.  The  Commandant  mentioned  in 
the  second  part  of  the  letter  must  have  been  the  Portuguese 
officer  in  command  of  the  fort  at  Tuticorin,  a  certain  Cosmo 
de  Payva,  of  whom  we  shall  hear  more  as  a  great  thorn  in  the 
side  of  St.  Francis. 

184  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

(xv.)   To  Francis  Mancias^  setting  out  for  Comorin. 

May  the  grace  and  charity  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help 
and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

My  dearest  Brother, 

I  am  most  anxious  to  know  what  you  are  doing ; 
and  therefore  I  beg  of  you,  for  the  love  of  Jesus  Christ,  to 
write  to  me  accurately,  taking  plenty  of  time  over  your  letter, 
everything  that  in  any  way  concerns  yourself  and  your  com- 
panions in  those  parts.  I  will  write  to  you  as  soon  as  ever  I 
reach  Munahpaud  to  tell  you  of  my  arrival. 

Remember  the  instructions  which  I  gave  you  in  writing 
when  we  parted,  and  pray  to  God  to  strengthen  you  with  great 
patience,  the  quality  necessary  above  all  others  in  dealing  with 
the  people  you  have  to  do  with.  Make  up  your  mind  that 
what  you  are  to  suffer  among  them  is  to  be  to  you  instead  of 
your  Purgatory,  and  that  you  are  to  pay  now  here  and  at  once 
the  penalty  of  your  faults.  And  acknowledge  how  great  a 
favour  it  is  that  God  grants  you,  to  be  able  while  still  breathing 
the  breath  of  life  to  make  atonement  for  the  sins  of  your  youth, 
while  you  have  the  opportunity  of  gaining  grace  by  it  (which 
could  not  be  in  Purgatory),  and  at  the  same  time  have  so  much 
less  pain  than  you  might  have  there. 

You  will  tell  Joam  d'Artiaga  that  the  Commandant  writes 
me  word  that  he  has  paid  him  ten  gold  crowns  to  be  placed  to 
my  account,  but  that  I  have  replied  to  the  Commandant  that 
neither  you,  nor  Joam  d' Artiaga,  nor  myself  are  in  want  of  any 
money  before  his  own  return  from  the  Fishery  Coast,  and  that 
I  have  given  orders  to  Joam  d' Artiaga,  to  return  this  sum  to 
him.  Tell  Artiaga  from  me  to  do  this,  unless  this  money,  in- 
stead of  being  a  gift,  should  be  a  payment  which  is  owing  to 
us,  and  to  which  we  have  a  right,  on  some  other  account, 
which  I  have  some  reason  to  suspect.  I  have  heard  some- 
thing to  the  effect  that  the  Governor  who  furnishes  us,  by  the 
King's  orders,  with  what  is  necessary  for  our  living  and  main- 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  185 

tenance,  has  sent  a  bill  for  ten  pardams  to  the  Commandant 
here  that  he  may  get  us  an  interpreter.  It  may  be  that  the 
Commandant,  not  seeing  any  present  opportunity  or  future  hope 
of  getting  us  an  interpreter,  and  not  wishing  to  keep  other 
people's  money  in  his  hands  to  no  purpose,  has  at  onc€  sent 
it  on  to  those  for  whose  use  he  knew  it  to  be  destined.  If 
this  is  so,  keep  it  by  all  means ;  if  not,  then  let  the  Com- 
mandant have  his  money  back  at  once,  and  I  wish  Artiaga  to 
repay  it  immediately.  I  wish  for  you  all  the  grace  from  heaven 
to  enable  you  to  serve  God,  that  I  desire  and  pray  for  for  my- 
self.    Farewell. 

From  Punical,  February  22,  1544. 

I  do  not  write  to  Joam  d' Artiaga,  because  this  letter  is  for 
him  as  well  as  for  you. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother, 


The  next,  ten  days  or  so  later,  contains  the  same  urgent 
entreaty — to  which  he  adds  a  concession  to  the  severity  of 
Mancias,  sending  a  beadle,  or  some  officer  of  the  kind,  to 
punish  drunken  women. 

(xvi.)  To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Your  letter  has  given  me  great  comfort.  I 
implore  you  over  and  over  again  to  deal  with  that  poor  de- 
graded people  as  good  fathers  do  with  bad  children.  Don't 
let  your  courage  give  way,  however  many  may  be  the  depraved 
and  wicked  things  you  see  them  do  :  for  God  Himself,  Whom 
they  so  grievously  offend,  nevertheless  does  not  kill  them,  as 
He  might  by  a  single  nod.  He  does  not  cease  to  supply  them 
with  what  they  need  for  their  life  and  support,  and  yet,  unless 
He  were  to  keep  His  bountiful  hand  open  to  them,  all  these 
things  would  fail,  and  the  poor  wretches  would  perish  for  want, 
as  indeed  they  deserve  to  perish.     I  would  have  you  consider 

i86  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

this  example  of  God,  and  conform  your  mind  to  greater  indul- 
gence by  it,  casting  aside  all  needless  worry  and  distress  of 

Your  labours  where  you  are  are  more  fruitful  than  you 
think,  and  although  you  may  not  make  all  the  way  that  you 
desire,  still,  take  my  word  for  it,  you  are  doing  very  sufficient 
work,  and  work  which  you  will  never  repent  of.  And,  after  all, 
whatever  may  be  the  success  of  your  labours,  you  have  a  sure 
consolation  in  the  fact  that  it  was  not  your  doing  nor  your 
fault  in  any  way  that  it  has  been  otherwise  than  could  be 
wished.  For  the  rest,  as  we  have  good  precedents  as  well  as 
good  reason  to  show  us  that  we  may  lawfully  use  the  King's 
authority  to  break  down  the  indomitable  and  stiffnecked  ob- 
stinacy of  a  race  over  which  he  rules,  I  send  you  an  officer 
whom  I  have  asked  of  the  Governor,  who  is  commissioned  to 
exact  a  fine  of  one  fanam  (two  silver  pieces)  of  any  woman  who 
continues  to  get  tipsy  on  arrack,  contrary  to  the  edicts  lately 
issued,  and  also  to  cast  any  one  found  guilty  of  such  intem- 
perance into  prison  for  three  days.  And  you  must  take  care 
to  have  it  published  with  all  possible  clearness  throughout  all 
your  villages  and  dwellings,  that  this  law  will  in  future  be  in- 
exorably enforced,  and  tell  the  Patangatins  (the  heads  of  the 
villages)  that  if  after  this  any  arrack  is  drunk  in  Punical,  they 
must  themselves  expect  severe  punishment  from  me. 

Exhort  Matthew  to  behave  to  me  like  a  good  son;  and 
say  that,  if  he  does  this,  I  will  give  him  far  greater  good  things 
and  advantages  than  he  could  ever  have  expected  from  his 
own  parents.  And  just  in  this  interval  during  which  I  am 
prevented  from  getting  to  you,  as  I  am  in  haste  to  do,  give 
some  serious  warnings  to  those  Patangatins  you  speak  of;  tell 
them,  if  they  are  wise,  to  amend  their  bad  ways,  otherwise  that 
I  have  made  up  my  mind  to  use  the  power  which  the  Gover- 
nor has  given  me,  and  that  all  whom,  when  I  come,  I  find  still 
addicted  to  their  favourite  vices,  I  shall  order  to  be  taken  in 
chains  to  Cochin ;  and  they  need  not  flatter  themselves  that 
they  will  soon  get  off  with  a  light  punishment.  I  have  firmly 
resolved  on  what  I  now  declare,  that  I  will  take  good  care 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  187 

that  they  shall  never  be  allowed  to  return  to  Punical.  It  is  as 
clear  as  it  can  be,  that  all  the  many  crimes  and  wickednesses 
that  are  committed  in  their  country  are  to  be  laid  to  the  fault 
and  charge  of  these  Patangatins  alone. 

Mind  to  take  the  greatest  care  to  baptize  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible all  newborn  infants.  And  directly  they  are  past  infancy 
and  are  able  to  begin  to  be  taught  anything,  begin  as  early  as 
may  be  to  teach  them  the  rudiments  of  Christian  doctrine,  as 
you  may  remember  that  I  enjoined  you  to  do  most  earnestly. 
Every  Sunday  also  you  must  give  the  Catechism  to  all  the 
people  together,  men  and  women,  boys  and  girls,  training 
them  well  in  the  prayers  and  acts  which  it  is  my  custom  to 
teach  them,  as  you  know,  and  you  should  add  to  this  a  short 
sermon  on  some  subject  that  may  be  practically  useful.  Watch 
with  all  diligence,  even  going  so  far  as  to  visit  and  examine  the 
workshops  of  the  artisans,  to  prevent  any  one  from  carving  or 
making  idols.  I  hear  that  a  letter  has  been  sent  directed  to 
me,  to  where  you  are,  from  Alvarez  Fogaza ;  do  not  send  it 
here,  but  keep  it  for  me  till  I  come. 

May  our  Lord  God  fill  you,  in  this  life  and  the  next,  with 
all  those  mighty  consolations  which  I  pray  to  Him  to  grant  to 
myself.     Farewell. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  March  14,  1544. 

The  Matthew  here  mentioned  seems  to  have  been  a  lad 
whom  St.  Francis  had  left  with  Mancias  as  an  assistant,  and 
the  letters  frequently  speak  of  him  in  a  playful  way,  as  will  be 
seen  in  our  next  extract.  Mancias  must  have  written,  in  the 
course  of  the  same  month,  to  tell  Francis  that  he  was  well  and 
enjoying  great  consolation  and  delight  in  his  work.  The 
answer  is  full  of  joy,  sympathy,  and,  at  the  same  time, 

1 88  «S/.  Francis  Xavier. 

(xvii.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Your  letter  has  given  me  incredible  joy,  and 
done  my  soul  immense  good,  because  it  tells  me  that  you  are 
very  happy  in  your  mission  and  are  visited  by  God  with  won- 
derful consolations.  And  now  that  you  have  had  experience 
that  God  remembers  you,  do  not  let  yourself  ever  forget  Him. 
Beware  of  growing  weary  of  your  work,  however  ungrateful  it 
may  be,  and  don't  let  any  kind  of  disgust  weaken  you  so  as  to 
relax  your  keen  and  unconquerable  perseverance  in  the  good 
which  you  have  begun.  Keep  always  a  humble  and  lowly 
spirit  before  God,  with  a  meek  feeling  of  internal  thankfulness 
that  He  has  chosen  you  for  so  lofty  an  office  as  that  which 
you  are  discharging.  You  have  the  paper  of  injunctions  that 
I  gave  you ;  I  have  nothing  to  add  to  them,  nothing  new 
to  recommend.  Remember  me  always,  for  I  never  forget  to 
think  of  you.  Tell  Matthew  to  be  my  good  child,  and  that 
he  will  find  me  a  good  father.  I  am  always  on  the  lookout 
for  occasions  of  helping  him  on.  Tell  him  also  that  I  order 
him,  on  Sundays,  when  he  repeats  in  church  the  answers  to  the 
Catechism,  which  you  have  taught  him  at  home,  to  speak  so 
loud  that  not  only  all  the  congregation  may  hear  him,  but  that 
his  voice  may  reach  us  here  at  Munahpaud.  Let  me  know 
also  about  the  Christians  of  Tuticorin,  in  what  state  they  are, 
and  whether  the  Portuguese  who  have  stopped  there  give  them 
any  trouble;  also  what  news  there  is  about  the  Governor — 
whether  he  is  to  pass  the  winter  at  Cochin,  or  not. 

Here  we  have  an  affair  of  great  magnitude  just  beginning 
— one  that  promises  a  splendid  opening  for  the  service  of  God 
our  Lord.  I  beg  you  to  pray  to  Him  very  urgently  that  He 
may  be  pleased  to  bring  the  hopes  which  He  has  let  us  enter- 
tain to  a  prosperous  issue,  and  ripen  the  good  beginnings  of 
the  opportunity  which  we  so  much  desire. 

I  entreat  you  to  show  continual  marks  of  very  great  love  to 
the  whole  of  the  people  you  are  among,  rulers  and  nobles,  and 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  189 

also  the  lowest  classes.  The  consequence  will  most  certainly 
be  that  they  will  love  you  in  return,  and,  if  you  once  get  to 
that,  the  ministry  by  which  you  are  trying  to  lead  them  to  the 
knowledge  and  worship  of  God  our  Lord  will  find  its  course 
more  easy  and  its  firuit  more  abundant.  Accustom  yourself  to 
bear  with  great  patience  all  their  weaknesses  and  their  slips 
from  frailty,  keeping  up  in  your  mind  the  merciful  and  charit- 
able hope  that  though  they  are  not  yet  good,  they  will  one 
day  become  so.  And,  after  all,  if  you  can't  make  them  ad- 
vance quite  as  far  as  you  intended,  still  don't  repent  of  having 
tried,  and  take  that  little  good  which  you  have  been  able  to 
beat  out  of  them  as  a  sufficient  reward.  For  my  part,  this  is 
the  way  I  comfort  myself  in  suchlike  troubles. 

May  God  be  always  with  you,  and  give  us  grace  that  we 
may  serve  Him  for  ever  !     Farewell. 

Your  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

From  Munahpaud,  March  20th,  1544. 

We  here  come  for  the  first  time  upon  a  direct  mention  of 
the  trouble  caused  by  the  Portuguese  to  the  native  Christians. 
There  has  probably  never  yet  been  a  zealous  European  mis- 
sionary in  any  part  of  the  heathen  world  in  which  Christians 
from  his  own  country  have  been  settled,  or  which  they  have 
occasionally  visited  for  purposes  of  commerce,  who  has  not 
found  among  them  the  worst  enemies  to  his  work.  No  ex- 
ception can  be  made  as  to  this  lamentable  truth  in  favour  of 
Catholic  nations :  Spaniards,  Frenchmen,  Portuguese,  have  as 
much  to  answer  for  in  this  respect  as  Dutchmen  and  English- 
men. Some  Catholics,  under  such  circumstances,  have  done 
infinitely  more  for  religion  than  can  be  claimed  for  Protestants, 
and  we  shall  find  noble  instances  of  this  among  the  Portuguese 
merchants,  as  well  as  among  the  officers  of  the  Crown,  in  the 
time  of  St.  Francis.  But  many  Catholics  have  done  quite  as 
much  against  religion  as  any  others,  and  we  shall  now  find 
this  dark  thread  of  the  bad  treatment  of  native  Christians  on 
the  part  of  the  Portuguese  settlers,  merchants,  soldiers,  and 
even  officials,  running  through  the  whole  of  the  story  before  us. 

igo  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

The  letter  also  alludes  to  another  plan  which  now  occupied 
Francis.  He  had  now  fairly  provided  for  the  regular  teaching 
of  the  converts  on  the  Fishery  Coast,  and  though  the  priests 
were  few,  it  was  quite  possible  for  them,  by  frequent  visits  to 
the  several  villages,  to  administer  the  sacraments  at  stated 
intervals,  while  the  ordinary  instruction  and  the  conferring  of 
baptism  in  cases  of  necessity  could  be  looked  to  by  the  cate- 
chists  and  Canacapoli.  He  was  desirous  of  extending  the  range 
of  his  missionary  action,  and  bringing  yet  more  of  the  natives 
into  the  kingdom  of  Jesus  Christ.  On  the  western  shores  of 
the  tongue  of  land  which  ends  in  Cape  Comorin,  and  between 
the  Fishery  Coast  itself  and  the  Portuguese  settlement  at  Co- 
chin, lay  the  Kingdom  of  Travancore,  and  it  was  a  part  of  the 
plan  of  the  Saint  to  preach  the  Gospel  to  its  inhabitants.  It  is 
not  easy  to  settle  with  perfect  clearness  the  exact  relation  which 
the  Rajah  of  Travancore  held  towards  other  princes  of  the 
south  of  India,  and  it  is  probable  that  the  relations  between 
them  were  continually  changing.  At  this  time  he  seems  to  have 
been  a  potentate  of  considerable  magnitude,  though  in  the  next 
century  his  successors  had  sunk  into  the  lords  of  a  small  terri- 
tory, tributary  to  the  King  or  Rajah  of  Madura  or  Bisnaghur. 
At  the  time  of  St.  Francis,  he  was  known  in  his  own  country 
as  the  Maharajah  or  great  Rajah,  a  name  probably  acquired  by 
his  success,  shortly  before,  in  bringing  under  his  authority  a 
number  of  petty  princes,  or,  more  properly  speaking,  nobles, 
who  had  up  to  that  time  ruled  the  country,  each  as  the  small 
tyrant  of  his  own  neighbourhood.  These  were  the  Pulas,  or 
Polygars,  of  whom  mention  is  made  in  the  letter  which  wull 
follow  immediately;  they  dwelt  in  small  castles  or  fastnesses  on 
the  high  grounds,  and  kept  the  country  round  them  in  terror 
and  subjection.3  The  position  of  a  prince  who  had  reduced 
this  troublesome  class  to  tacit  submission  may  well  be  ima- 

3  We  find  these  details  in  M.  Ldon  Pages'  admirable  French  translation  of 
the  Letters  of  St.  Francis  (t.  i.  p.  loo).  He  adds  that  the  Mudaliars,  whose 
name  will  occur  further  on,  were  a  class  on  the  Coromandel  Coast,  belonging 
to  the  Vaicyas  (merchants  and  cultivators  of  the  soil),  the  third  caste  among  the 
Indians,  who  enjoyed  great  influence  from  the  thirteenth  to  the  sixteenth  cen- 

^he  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  191 

gined,  and  we  can  easily  understand  that  the  '  Great  Rajah'  of 
Travancore  was  anxious  to  secure  the  support  of  the  Portuguese 
against  these  subordinate  rajahs,  who  were  certain  to  revolt  as 
soon  as  it  was  in  their  power  to  do  so  with  hopes  of  success, 
and  who,  moreover,  might  purchase  for  themselves  the  alliance 
of  the  Portuguese  against  him  unless  he  anticipated  them. 
How  far  these  political  reasons  weighed  with  the  Rajah  of 
Travancore,  Iniquitribirim,^  cannot  be  known  for  certain ;  but 
he  appears  thus  early  in  the  year  to  have  shown  signs  of  a 
friendly  disposition  to  St.  Francis,  even  if  the  latter  had  not 
already,  by  his  leave,  preached  in  his  country,  which  soon  after 
this,  at  all  events,  became  the  scene  of  his  most  active  labours, 
as  well  as  of  some  most  remarkable  miracles.  These  facts 
explain  to  us  the  indignation  which  is  expressed  in  the  follow- 
|ing  letter  at  the  thwarting  of  his  plans  by  an  act  of  unjustifiable 
violence  on  the  part  of  some  Portuguese  adventurer. 

(xviii.)   To  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

No  words  could  express  the  earnest  desire  which 
weighs  upon  me  to  get  to  you  on  the  coast.  I  declare  to  you 
that  it  is  the  strict  truth  that  if  this  very  day  I  could  find  a  ship 
that  was  leaving  for  those  parts,  I  should  at  once  embark  in  it. 

Here  are  three  nobles  come  to  me  from  the  Court  of  the 
Rajah  of  Travancore,  complaining  of  a  Portuguese  who,  they 
say,  has  arrested  at  Patanai  a  slave  of  their  prince  Iniquitribirim, 
and  taken  him  in  chains  to  Punical.  They  hear  that  the  man 
boasts  that  he  will  take  him  to  Tuticorin.  Find  out  what  the 
truth  of  the  matter  is,  and  write  about  it,  I  beg  you,  to  the 
Commandant.     And  if  it  should  be  that  the  Portuguese  be 

tury.  There  are  many  ruins  now  to  be  seen  of  the  fortresses  built  by  them,  and 
the  common  answer  to  an  enquiry  about  a  ruin  in  those  parts  is,  that  it  was 
built  by  so  and  so,  who  was  a  Polygar,  or  a  Mudaliar.  A  fact  like  this  shows 
their  importance,  and  the  difficulty  which  the  Rajah  must  have  had  in  keeping 
them  in  order. 

4  The  name  is  so  given  in  the  letters,  but  it  is  said  to  be  hopelessly  unlike 
any  conceivable  Hindoo  name. 

T92  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

found  there,  whoever  he  may  be,  turn  every  stone  that  the 
poor  prisoner  be  set  free  at  once.  If  it  be  that  he  owes  the 
Portuguese  anything,  let  the  complaint  be  laid  before  his  own 
prince,  who  is  sure  to  decide  what  is  just,  and  who  will  main- 
tain, as  he  always  does,  the  rights  of  our  people.  This  advice 
is  no  doubt  given  too  late,  for  this  is  what  they  should  have 
done  in  the  beginning,  and  no  subject  of  an  allied  prince  ought 
to  have  been  seized  and  taken  out  of  a  place  in  his  domi- 
nions without  his  being  consulted.  How  absurdly  we  use  our 
strength !  We  spare  our  enemies  and  plunder  our  friends. 
This  act  of  injustice  shuts  me  out  from  access  to  the  Rajah, 
who  is  otherwise  well  disposed,  for  it  would  be  the  unwisest 
thing  in  the  world  for  me  to  present  myself  to  an  indignant 
Court,  boiling  over  with  the  sense  of  so  grave  an  insult  lately 
received.  I  can  well  forgive  their  anger,  which  has  a  just  cause 
to  kindle  it.  For  what  can  be  more  intolerable  than  that  men 
who  call  themselves  the  allies  of  a  Rajah  should  lay  violent 
hands  on  the  servant  of  one  of  his  friends  in  his  own  domi- 
nions, without  waiting  for  or  asking  his  consent?  an  outrage 
never  heard  of  even  in  the  time  of  the  Pulas,  when  they  ruled 
in  those  parts  in  a  manner  that  was  simply  tyrannical.  As 
for  me,  I  really  don't  know  what  line  I  shall  take,  so  entirely 
are  all  my  measures  and  precautions  upset  by  the  inconsiderate 
outbreak  of  this  reckless  miscreant.  I  feel  strongly  urged  to 
be  off  and  have  done  with  it ;  for  why  should  we  waste  more 
time  here,  among  men  who  are  utterly  regardless  of  any  con- 
siderations of  justice,  and  who  never  care  a  straw  at  the  cost 
of  what  damage  to  religion  or  to  the  State  they  indulge  their 
own  passions  ?  above  all,  whose  outrages  are  encouraged  by 
impunity  ?  Every  one  can  see  that  if  the  men  who  were  con- 
cerned in  that  shameless  robbery  of  the  myoparon^  the  other 
day  had  been  punished  as  they  deserved,  we  should  not  find 
the  Portuguese  now  breaking  out  in  outrages  of  the  same  sort. 
It  will  be  a  narrow  escape  for  us  now  if  the  Rajah  of  Travan- 

5  A  myoparon  was  a  large  flatbottomed  boat — a  sort  of  barge.  We  are 
without  information  as  to  the  details  of  this  outrage — one,  probably,  of  a  num- 
ber that  were  constantly  recurring. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  1 93 

core,  irritated  by  so  wanton  an  insult,  do  not  take  some  severe 
measures  against  the  Christians  who  are  his  subjects.*^ 

I  wish  you  to  write  and  tell  the  Commandant  how  much 
I  am  distressed  at  this  act  of  violence  on  the  person  of  the 
Rajah  of  Travancore's  slave,  not  only  on  account  of  the  bad 
feeling  which  so  scandalous  a  crime  must  produce,  but  also 
on  account  of  the  positive  evils  which  threaten  us  in  conse- 
quence of  it.  I  myself  have  almost  made  up  my  mind  never  to 
write  again  on  such  matters,  for  these  people  want  to  do  just 
what  comes  into  their  head,  and  they  can't  bear  to  be  told 
what  is  disagreeable  to  hear.  They  seem  to  think  that  it  is 
an  injury  and  an  insult  to  them  if  any  one  dares  to  open  his 
mouth  while  they  are  trampling  on  rights  of  all  kinds.  If  it 
should  happen  that  you  get  certain  information  that  the  slave 
carried  off  by  the  Portuguese  is  at  Tuticorin,  then,  I  conjure 
you,  by  all  the  desire  you  have  to  please  God,  go  yourself  at 
once  to  the  Commandant,  and  work  upon  him  by  all  the  means 
in  your  power  to  get  the  poor  fellow  set  free  at  once.  And  let 
the  Portuguese  who  had  him  arrested  come  here  and  make  his 
claim  or  his  complaint,  and  he  will  find  all  that  consideration 
of  his  rights  which  is  needed  to  give  him  full  satisfaction. 

I  wonder  whether  the  Portuguese  would  think  it  good  if, 
when  one  of  the  natives  happened  to  have  a  dispute  with  one 
of  themselves,  he  was  to  seize  the  Portuguese  by  main  force, 
put  him  in  chains,  and  have  him  taken  out  of  a  place  in  our 
territory  and  carried  up  the  country?  Certainly  not.  The 
Indians  must  have  the  same  feelings;  why  should  we  do  to 
them  what  we  don't  wish  to  be  done  to  oui  selves  ?  Why  should 
we  be  astonished  that  they,  like  ourselves,  are  indignant  when 
they  are  injured?  There  would  be  more  to  excuse  the  aggres- 
sion if  they  denied  us  justice ;  but  what  plausible  excuse  can 
we  plead  now,  when  they  undertake  to  do  justice  with  the 
utmost  faithfulness,  observe  exactly  all  the  conditions  of  the 

6  This  seems  to  show  that  the  conversions  in  Travancore  had  already  begun. 
But  it  would  appear  that  the  '  Great  Rajah'  had  at  least  some  authority  at  Mu- 
nahpaud  itself,  whence  Francis  writes,  and  the  whole  Fishery  Coast  may  have 
been  under  his  suzerainty. 

VOL.  I.  O 

194  S^'  Francis  Xavier. 

alliance,  and  when  they  keep  the  peace  and  deal  with  all  the 
equity  we  could  desire  in  their  intercourse  with  us  ?  Where 
can  we  possibly  find  a  pretext  to  cover  even  speciously  the 
shameful  disgrace  of  our  faithless  breach  of  agreement  ?  If 
any  insurmountable  obstacle  should  prevent  you  from  going 
yourself  at  once  to  the  Commandant,  send  Paul  Vaz  to  him 
with  a  letter  from  you. 

I  declare  once  more  that  this  news  has  disturbed  me  more 
than  I  can  express  by  letter.  May  our  Lord  God  give  us  the 
strength  of  mind  that  is  needed  for  us  to  bear  with  becoming 
patience  such  reckless  excesses  as  this  !  Though  what  I  have 
said  about  the  affair  has  been  ascertained  on  good  authority, 
still  please  not  to  think  it  too  much  trouble  to  write  to  me  a 
thorough  account  of  the  whole  matter,  as  far  as  you  can  find 
out  on  the  spot.  Is  it  true  that  a  Portuguese  has  seized  a 
slave  of  the  Rajah  of  Travancore  within  the  territory  of  the 
latter?  If  he  has,  what  reason  does  he  allege  for  it,  and  does 
he  really  intend  to  take  the  man  to  Tuticorin,  and  for  what? 
1  should  be  very  glad  to  hear  something  at  least  which  may 
diminish  the  atrocity  of  this  detestable  action,  and  prove  that 
report  had  exaggerated  it.  If  there  is  no  way  of  lightening 
the  ill  feeling  which  has  been  caused,  and  if  the  facts  really 
are  what  they  are  said  to  be,  then  I  must  give  up  my  plan  of 
going  to  see  the  Rajah,  with  whom  I  was  going  to  treat  of 
matters  concerning  the  service  of  God.  You  well  know  how 
these  people  are  incensed  at  these  seizures  of  slaves,  especially 
from  territory  of  their  own;  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 
they  must  all  be  calling  out  for  vengeance,  and  heaping  re- 
proaches upon  the  whole  race  of  Portuguese,  and  even  on  the 
Christian  religion.  It  would  never  be  wise  for  me  to  expose 
myself  to  all  this  hostility.  No,  I  shall  have  to  think  of  going 
elsewhere.  I  have  long  thought  of  it,  and  now  shall  have  to 
set  myself  to  work  to  carry  it  out.  I  have  long  had  the  idea 
suggesting  itself  to  my  mind,  and  it  really  seems  very  attrac- 
tive, of  leaving  India  altogether,  where  so  many  obstacles  are 
placed  in  the  way  of  the  advancement  of  the  Gospel  from 
quarters  from  which  least  of  all  such  obstacles  should  arise, 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  1 95 

and  going  instead  to  Ethiopia,  where  there  is  a  great  and  pro- 
bable hope  to  invite  us  of  advancing  signally  the  glory  of  our 
Lord  God  by  preaching  the  Gospel,  and  where  there  will  be 
no  Europeans  to  oppose  us  and  pull  down  what  we  have  built 
up.  I  cannot  hide  from  you  that  I  feel  so  strongly  impelled 
that  way,  that  it  is  not  unlikely  I  shall  embark  at  Munahpaud 
on  one  of  the  little  country  vessels,^  of  which  there  are  plenty, 
and  go  to  Goa  at  once  to  prepare  all  that  is  necessary  for  my 
departure  for  the  dominions  of  Prester  John. 

May  God  grant  us  His  help  and  grace  !     Amen. 
Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  March  24th,  1544. 

It  may  surprise  the  reader  to  hear  Francis  Xavier  speak 
of  going  to  Prester  John.  The  Portuguese  conquests  on  the 
coast  of  Africa,  and  their  interference  in  the  affairs  of  Abys- 
sinia, had  awakened  in  Europe  a  great  interest  in  the  almost 
nominal  Christians  of  those  countries.  The  famous  expedition 
of  Don  Cristoval  de  Gama,  who  with  400  men  marched  with 
ease  about  the  country  which  it  cost  an  English  army  so  many 
millions  of  pounds  to  penetrate  a  few  years  ago,  took  place  in 
1540.  John  III.,  five  or  six  years  later,  asked  for  missionaries 
of  the  Society,  and  the  negotiations  issued  in  1556  in  the  mis- 
sion of  Father  Nunez  Barreto  (as  Patriarch)  and  several  others, 
to  Claudius  King  of  Abyssinia,  who  occupied  the  place  of  the 
so-called  Prester  John.  It  may  be  feared  that  Francis  Xavier 
would  have  found  troubles  enough  in  Abyssinia  as  well  as  in 
India.^  At  all  events,  hi^  intention  of  setting  off  at  once  was 
not  carried  out.  His  next  letter  was  written  from  the  same 
spot,  only  a  few  days  later.  It  mentions  another  outrage  com- 
mitted by  the  Portuguese,  this  time  on  the  Christians. 

7  qzios  tonos  vacant .  (Lat.)    They  seem  to  have  been  little  more  than  row- 
boats,  and  a  voyage  to  Goa  in  one  of  them  would  have  been  hazardous  enough. 

8  See  Genelli's  Life  of  St.  Ignatius  (Eng.  Trans.),  p.  267  seq, 

19^  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

(xix.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

I  was  delighted  to  learn  what  your  letter  tells  me  about 
you.  I  can  see  from  it  how  great  are  the  fruits  of  your  zeal 
where  you  are.  May  our  Lord  Whom  we  serve  prosper  your 
diligence  in  the  future  also,  and  give  you  in  His  mercy  suffi- 
cient strength  to  make  you  equal  to  a  continuance  of  your 
exertions,  so  as  to  bring  always  to  greater  and  greater  perfec- 
tion the  good  you  have  done,  and,  in  short,  to  persevere  cour- 
ageously to  the  end,  and  so  entirely  overcome  the  obstacles 
and  troubles  which  you  may  have  to  meet ! 

To  hear  as  I  do  that  our  Christians  are  persecuted  and 
oppressed  both  by  the  heathen  and  by  the  Portuguese,  is  a 
thing  which  wounds  my  heart  to  the  very  core,  so  atrocious 
and  so  mischievous  is  it.  But  I  have  had  so  much  of  this  sort 
of  thing,  that  if,  as  they  say,  the  sting  of  such  sorrows  could 
be  dulled  by  frequent  practice,  I  ought  long  ago  to  have  lost 
all  feehng  about  it.  Somehow  I  cannot  find  any  relief  or  alle- 
viation for  this  misery  in  the  medicine  of  habit  and  lapse  of 
time.  It  racks  me  with  intense  pain  every  time  that  I  either 
see  for  myself  or  hear  from  others  how  these  tender  sucklings 
oi  the  Church  are  exposed  to  every  kind  of  violence  and  out- 
rage from  the  very  persons  in  whom  such  conduct  is  most 
shameful — how,  new  and  fresh  as  they  are  in  the  faith,  like 
iniant  children  in  the  holy  religion  they  have  adopted,  and 
when  they  ought  to  be  indulgently  cherished  and  nursed  up  by 
kindness  on  the  part  of  their  elder  brothers,  rather  than  left 
in  neglect  and  contempt,  or  even  subjected  to  violence  and 
injury  by  them.,  they  are  cut  to  pieces  and  plundered  by  savage 
attacks,  which  no  efforts  we  can  make  for  their  protection  are 
able  to  delay,  much  less  to  avert.  Wherever  I  go  I  carry  this 
grief  like  a  pain  which  eats  out  my  heart.  I  heard  three  days 
ago  from  the  Patangatins  of  a  most  wicked  act  of  violence 
— the  seizure  of  several  slave  girls — committed  at  Punical  by 
certain  Portuguese.     As  soon  as  I  heard  the  miserable  news 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  197 

I  wrote  to  the  Bishop's  vicars  at  Coulan^  and  Cochin,  begging 
them  earnestly  to  publish  a  threat  of  the  major  excommuni- 
cation against  the  ravishers,  and  to  make  a  public  inquiry  who 
they  are,  that  their  names  may  be  known,  their  prey  rescued 
from  them,  and  the  penalty  enjoined  by  the  law  inflicted  on 
them  to  warn  others  by  their  example. 

[However,  all  his  indignation  against  ihese  Portuguese  mis- 
creants does  not  prevent  him  from  descending  to  minute  prac- 
tical matters,  such  as  the  provision  for  the  hoy  Matthew,  of 
whom  Mancias  was  probably  frequently  complaining — perhaps 
not  without  reason — and  the  correction  of  a  mistake  in  the 
translation  of  the  Credo  made  by  Mancias  himself] 

Do  not  forget  to  give  Matthew  all  he  wants  for  his  cloth- 
ing. And  do  all  you  can  by  showing  him  all  the  kindness  of 
an  indulgent  father,  to  attach  him  to  yourself.  In  that  way 
you  will  make  him  willing  to  live  with  you.  You  know  he  is 
free  and  his  own  master,  and  he  can  be  attached  to  our  com- 
munity only  by  the  bonds  of  affection.  When  he  was  with 
me,  I  took  all  possible  pains  to  keep  his  affection,  by  showing 
him  almost  the  tenderness  of  a  mother,  and  I  should  very  much 
wish  that  you  would  do  the  same. 

In  your  translation  of  the  Apostles'  Creed  there  is  some- 
thing which  I  think  it  well  to  tell  you.  It  is  not  right  to  trans- 
late the  words  Credo  in  Deum  by  the  word  Enaku-venum  ;  for 
in  their  dialect  the  word  venum  answers  to  volo^  I  will,  I  want. 
Thus  you  see  at  once  that  it  won't  do  to  say,  Volo  i?i.  I  think 
you  should  use  the  word  vichnam'^^  instead  of  venum.  That 
word  answers  in  the  language  of  the  country  to  the  Latin  word 

9  Coulan,  now  Quilon,  lies  about  halfway  between  Cape  Comorin  and  Cochin, 
on  the  western  side  of  the  peninsula,  and  consequently  on  the  Travancore 
coast.  There  was  a  Portuguese  station  there,  and  it  was  the  most  important 
port  south  of  Cochin.  It  was  the  scene,  as  we  shall  see,  of  one  of  Francis 
Xavier's  most  remarkable  miracles. 

10  Baldoeus,  a  Dutch  writer  of  the  next  century,  who  was  present  at  many 
of  the  battles  in  which  this  part  of  India  was  conquered  by  his  countrymen  from 
the  Portuguese,  and  afterwards  settled  there  as  a  Protestant  pastor,  gives  a 
short  account  of  the  Malabar  tongue,  which  includes  the  Our  Father  and  Creed 
in  that  dialect.    The  word  there  used  for  '  I  believe  in'  is  written  by  him  vichu- 

98  'St.  Francis  Xavier. 

Credo.  Again,  in  that  other  article  of  the  Creed  where  the 
Passion  of  Jesus  Christ  is  spoken  of,  take  care  not  to  use  the 
words  Vaopinale:  the  people  here  use  them  generally  in  a  sense 
which  includes  some  notion  of  coercion.  Now  Jesus  Christ  did 
not  suffer  of  necessity,  but  of  His  own  accord  and  free  will. 

When  any  who  are  passing  from  the  Fisheries  come  to  where 
you  are,  lose  no  time  in  visiting  the  sick  among  them,  and  wher- 
ever you  go  take  a  boy  with  you  as  you  go  from  cottage  to 
cottage  to  recite  over  them  the  prayers  which  you  find  inserted 
in  the  written  instructions  I  left  you.  After  these  prayers  and 
the  service  content  yourself  by  reading  once  the  usual  passage 
of  the  GospeL  For  the  rest,  remember  always  to  show  great 
signs  of  charity  in  your  intercourse  with  these  people,  making 
it  a  point  of  careful  study  to  win  them  to  love  you  in  return. 
I  should  be  very  glad  if  you  could  tell  me  that  none  of  them 
now  drink  arrack  or  carve  idols,  and  that  they  all  come  on 
Sundays  to  recite  the  prayers.  But  if  it  should  chance  that  we 
can't  always  have  these  things  as  we  wish,  we  must  not  let  our 
courage  break  down,  but  rather  say  to  ourselves  that  if  from 
the  beginning  of  their  conversion  these  poor  wretched  people 
had  always  had  diligent  teachers  at  hand  to  teach  them  what 
is  necessary,  as  you  are  now  doing,  they  would  certainly  have 
been  infinitely  better  Christians  than  they  are. 

May  our  Lord  grant  you  all  the  consolation  in  this  life  and 
glory  in  the  next  that  I  desire  for  myself !    Farewell. 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Munahpaud,  March  27,  1544. 

We  pass  over  a  few  pages,  and  we  find  St.  Francis  in  com- 
parative quiet  and  good  hope.  The  report  about  the  Travan- 
core  outrage  must  have  died  away,  and  he  is  expecting  some 
communication  from  the  Governor  about  the  terms  which  he 
may  offer  to  the  Rajah  of  Travancore,  who  was  seeking  the 

vadieren.  His  work  exists  in  the  third  volume  of  the  EngUsh  collection  of 
Churchill,  Collection  of  Voyages  and  Travels,  London,  1745.  The  Creed  is 
given  in  Malabar  at  p.  600.  The  Tamil  words  in  the  text  would,  we  believe, 
be  written  differently  now. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  199 

Portuguese  alliance  to  ensure  himself  against  his  insurgent  vas- 
sals. But  another  trouble  is  upon  him,  in  the  instability  of 
Joam  d'Artiaga,  who  had  been  named  in  a  former  letter  as 
companion  to  Mancias  himself.  He  seems  to  have  left  his 
post,  and  then  to  have  left  St.  Francis. 

(xx.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother, 

It  is  a  wonderful  joy  to  me  to  hear  of  your 
having  gone  to  visit  the  Christians  scattered  over  the  country 
whom  I  recommended  to  your  care,  and  I  am  still  more  re- 
joiced to  learn  from  persons  who  have  come  hither  from  your 
parts,  of  the  abundant  fruits  that  your  visit  has  produced  for 
the  gain  of  souls  and  of  the  Church. 

I  have  been  expecting  today  or  tomorrow  a  message  from 
the  Governor,  and  if  it  brings  the  news  which  I  hope,  I  shall 
not  delay  my  journey  to  your  mission,  and  I  will  turn  out  of 
the  road  as  I  go  that  I  may  meet  you  in  passing  wherever  you 
may  be.  I  long  to  see  you  extremely,  though  the  eyes  of  my 
spirit  are  always  upon  you,  even  in  absence. 

Joam  d'Artiaga  has  gone  off,  carried  away  by  some  dis- 
turbing imagination  which  left  him  no  peace  of  mind,  and 
which  came,  as  far  as  appears,  from  the  Evil  Spirit.  But  this 
he  neither  sees  himself,  nor  goes  the  right  way  to  learn.  He 
told  me  when  he  left  that  he  was  going  to  Combutur^^  to  teach 
the  people  there.  He  said  also  that  he  chose  a  place  not  far 
from  where  you  are  on  purpose  to  be  near  you.  He  may  have 
wished  this  at  the  time,  but  whether  he  will  persevere  in  it  I 
know  not.  You  know  what  an  inconstant  fellow  he  is,  and 
how  every  wind  turns  him.  However,  whatever  happens,  if  he 
comes  to  see  you,  I  hardly  think  it  will  be  worth  your  while  to 
spend  any  length  of  time  in  talking  with  him. 

11  Some  of  the  translations  of  the  letters  have  identified  the  place  with  Coim- 
batoor,  in  the  Carnatic.  But  Coimbatoor  is  far  to  the  north,  and  inland.  The 
place  here  spoken  of  is  evidently,  as  we  may  gather  from  the  Letters,  on  the 
coast,  not  very  far  from  the  place  whence  St.  Francis  writes  (Munahpaud). 

200  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

I  have  written  to  the  Commandant  to  supply  you  with  what 
you  want,  I  have  also  begged  Manuel  da  Cruz  to  lend  you 
money  as  often  as  you  want  it,  and  he  has  very  obligingly 
promised  me  to  do  so.  Take  great  care  of  your  health,  for 
that  is  a  necessary  means  in  order  for  you  to  serve  our  Lord 
God  so  usefully.  Tell  Matthew  it  is  my  decided  will  that  he 
should  do  v/hat  you  tell  him,  and  diligently  obey  you  in  all 
things.  I  wish  him  to  understand  clearly  that  I  have  often 
promised  him  to  be  as  a  father  and  mother  to  him,  it  will  de- 
pend on  your  giving  him  a  good  character ;  but  that  otherwise, 
unless  you  can  witness  to  me  that  you  have  found  him  per- 
fectly good  and  obedient,  I  sha'n't  think  that  I  have  any  reason 
to  take  so  much  trouble  about  him,  nor  make  his  interests  of 
so  much  importance.  I  wish  you,  on  the  other  hand,  to  give 
him  liberally  whatever  clothing  he  may  require. 

In  your  visitation  of  the  scattered  hamlets  which  you  are 
now  making,  this  is  what  I  wish  you  to  do.  In  each  village 
that  you  come  to,  bid  all  the  men  assemble  on  one  day,  and 
on  another  all  the  women,  and  teach  each  of  them  separately  all 
that  they  must  know  to  escape  sin ;  and  don't  think  it  enough 
that  they  can  repeat  by  heart  in  those  assemblies  the  prayers 
of  the  Church,  which  all  Christians  commonly  know,  but  make 
them  say  the  same  prayers  morning  and  evening  at  home,  and 
give  them  diligent  orders  to  do  this.  Also  baptize  all  that  have 
not  yet  received  baptism,  adults  as  well  as  children. 

Meanwhile,  that  you  may  have  no  selfcomplacency  in  the 
fruits  of  your  work  which  meet  the  eye,  consider  that  if  the 
mill  has  ground  good  wheat,  all  the  glory  is  due  to  the  great 
Master  and  Lord  Who  makes  the  stream  flow  which  makes  the 
millstone  go  round,  and  the  whole  machine  move  and  work. 

May  God  our  Lord  keep  you,  and  guide  you  and  help  you 
on !     Farewell. 

Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 
From  Munahpaud,  April  8th,  1544.  FranCIS. 

There  were  the  elements  of  a  good  deal  of  trouble  in  the 
wayward  conduct  of  this  Joam  d'Artiaga,  who  was  not  a  mem- 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  201 

ber  of  the  Society  and  not  strictly  under  regular  obedience  to 
Francis  or  any  one  else.  He  nnight  get  his  friends  into  some 
conflict  with  the  native  authorities,  and  they  were  sure  to  have 
the  credit  of  any  eccentricities  of  which  he  might  be  guilty. 
We  shall  be  glad  to  find  further  on  that  he  seems  to  have  come 
round  again,  won,  probably,  by  the  influence  exercised  upon 
him  by  Francis  in  some  personal  interview.  The  letter  which 
has  last  been  quoted  was  written  on  the  Tuesday  in  Holy 
Week,  and  the  provisions  which  it  mentions  for  the  support 
of  Mancias  seem  to  fall  in  with  the  conjecture  that  Francis  was 
now  meditating  an  excursion  into  some  new  part  of  the  coun- 
try. The  next  two  letters  are  written  from  different  spots,  the 
exact  position  of  which,  as  well  as  of  the  post  at  which  Man- 
cias himself  was  stationed,  it  is  impossible  to  identify.  Francis 
seems  to  have  been  moving  about  the  country  towards  Travan- 
core,  and  to  have  meant  to  meet  Mancias  on  his  way,  then  to 
have  proceeded  to  Tuticorin,  which,  as  we  have  said,  was  about 
the  centre  of  the  Fishery  Coast  opposite  Ceylon,  on  account 
of  some  dissensions  between  the  natives,  which  had  to  be 
settled  for  fear  of  their  growing  mischievous.  With  this  short 
commentary,  we  must  leave  the  three  letters  which  follow  to 
speak  for  themselves. 

(xxi.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  long  immensely  to  see  you,  and  I  have  reason  to 
hope  that  God  in  His  mercy  will  soon  grant  me  my  prayer. 
Meantime  not  a  day  passes  that  I  do  not  watch  you  in  spirit. 
I  doubt  not  that  it  is  the  same  with  you,  and  that  we  continu- 
ally enjoy  the  presence  of  one  another  in  heart.  Now,  for  the 
love  you  have  to  God,  write,  I  pray,  and  tell  me  about  yourself 
and  all  the  Christians ;  how  you  are,  what  you  are  doing,  how 
all  your  affairs  are  going  on.  And  I  wish  you  to  tell  me  all 
minutely  and  precisely.  Here  I  am,  a  whole  week  waiting  for 
a  Pula  from  Travancore.  I  don't  think  he  will  fail,  for  he  wrote 
to  say  that  he  should  come  within  that  time.     How  am  I  my- 

202  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

self,  you  ask  ?  Well,  my  heart  is  strong  with  a  lively  confidence 
in  the  goodness  of  God,  that  something  will  come  of  this  inter- 
view which  will  have  somewhat  to  do  with  His  own  service  and 
honour.  Whatever  comes  of  it,  I  will  let  you  know  at  once, 
that  you  may  give  thanks  to  God  our  Lord.  I  am  writing  to 
the  Patangatins  to  build  the  chapel  of  green  branches.  I  used 
to  think  it  a  good  plan  to  assemble  the  women  in  the  church 
on  Saturday  morning,  as  they  do  at  Munahpaud,  and  the  men 
on  Sunday.  But  I  leave  all  to  your  discretion.  When  you 
want  to  write  to  the  Commandant  to  supply  any  need  that  you 
have,  do  not  wait  till  you  are  in  extreme  necessity,  but  give 
him  notice  in  good  time  beforehand,  so  that  if  he  requires 
some  little  space  to  provide  what  you  want,  you  may  not  have 
to  suffer  the  pangs  of  destitution  meanwhile. 

As  to  Joam  d'Artiaga,  I  should  be  glad  to  hear  from  you 
where  he  is,  and  whether  he  is  serving  God.  I  am  very  much 
afraid  that  he  will  not  persevere  as  the  interests  of  God's  king- 
dom and  His  greater  glory  require.  You  know  how  inconstant 
he  is.  The  Father  who  is  with  me  is  quite  well,  and  so  am  I. 
Tell  the  boy,  I  mean  Matthew,  from  me,  to  go  on  being  good, 
to  speak  up  when  he  repeats  at  the  catechism  what  you  have 
taught  him  and  to  pronounce  the  words  well.  When  I  come 
to  see  you,  I  am  going  to  bring  him  a  little  present  which  I 
know  he  will  be  delighted  with.  Write  me  word  whether  the 
children  come  regularly  to  say  their  prayers  together  at  the 
appointed  time,  and  how  many  of  them  can  say  them  rightly  by 

I  want  you  never  to  spare  words  or  paper  in  telling  me 
about  these  things  very  particularly.  And  give  your  letters  to 
the  first  person  you  come  across,  who  is  coming  this  way,  to 
bring  to  me. 

May  the  Lord  be  with  you,  as  I  pray  that  He  may  be  with 
me ! 

Your  most  afFectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Livare,  April  23d,  1544. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  203 

(xxii.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

To-day,  the  first  of  May,  I  have  got  your  letters. 
I  can't  tell  you  on  paper  how  much  pleasure  I  have  had  in 
reading  them.  I  have  been  ill  the  last  four  or  five  days  with 
a  burning  and  constant  fever  and  have  been  bled  twice.  Now, 
by  the  grace  of  God,  I  am  better.  I  have  almost  lost  all  re- 
collection of  the  illness  I  have  just  gone  through,  in  the  joy  of 
the  good  news  you  give  me. 

I  hope  with  God's  help  to  go  to  you  at  Punical  next  week. 
We  thought  the  Pula  of  Travancore  would  be  here  today,  at 
least  tomorrow  morning.  When  I  am  with  you  I  will  tell  you 
what  has  passed  with  him.  May  our  Lord  God  grant  that 
something  may  result  from  it  by  which  we  may  advance  His 
service.  Father  Francis  Coelho  is  sending  you  two  umbrellas. 
As  I  shall  so  soon  be  able  to  see  you  I  have  no  more  to  say 
now  except  my  usual  prayer  that  our  Lord  God  may  be  pleased 
to  help  us  with  His  grace,  so  that  we  may  serve  Him  faithfully. 

Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Nare,  May  ist,  1544. 

(xxiii.)   To  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

God,  from  Whom  nothing  is  hidden,  knows  how 
much  happier  I  should  be  spending  a  few  days  with  you  than 
to  be  kept  for  the  same  time  at  Tuticorin.  But  as  it  is  necessary 
for  me  to  remain  here  awhile,  in  order  to  settle  certain  quarrels 
which  are  setting  the  people  here  by  the  ears  in  a  way  that 
threatens  danger,  we  must  both  of  us  be  willing  to  postpone 
the  consolation  of  seeing  one  another,  which  we  have  been 
longing  for,  to  the  great  advantage  which  may  be  expected  to 
the  service  of  God  from  this  peace  which  I  hope  to  make,  and 

204  St,  Francis  Xavien 

we  must  rejoice  that  we  are  to  be,  not  where  we  might  wish  to 
be,  but  where  the  most  holy  will  of  our  Lord  God  and  the  in- 
terests of  His  kingdom  and  of  His  greater  glory  require.  I 
must  again  and  again  pray  you,  do  not  get  angry  with  these 
poor  folk,  however  much  their  faults  and  frailties  move  your 
bile.  I  know  what  an  extreme  annoyance  it  is  to  be  per- 
petually interrupted,  when  one  is  thoroughly  absorbed  in  some 
work,  by  persons  calling  one  away  to  attend  to  their  own  busi- 
ness, which  is  all  they  care  for.  Never  mind,  gulp  down  their 
importunities,  keep  a  quiet  mind  all  the  time,  and  lend  your- 
self tranquilly  to  the  occupations  which  come  of  themselves  to 
you  from  every  side.  Just  do  what  you  can  do,  and  what  you 
can't  do  now,  let  it  go  or  put  it  off,  and,  when  you  cannot  give 
them  satisfaction  in  deed,  take  care  to  make  it  up  in  word,  ex- 
cusing yourself  kindly,  saying  that  you  are  not  as  able  to  help 
them  as  you  could  wish,  and  if  you  can't  give  them  what  they 
want,  give  them  some  hope  of  it  in  the  future — a  thing  which 
generally  softens  people  when  they  are  disappointed  as  to 
getting  what  they  desire.  You  owe  great  thanks  to  our  Lord 
God,  and  I  suppose  you  give  them,  for  placing  you  where  you 
can't  be  idle  if  you  would,  where  so  many  affairs  surround 
and  besiege  you  at  every  moment  with  something  to  be  done, 
one  upon  another,  but  where — what  is  the  sweetest  of  all  con- 
diments to  any  toil,  however  great — everything  of  this  kind 
which  besets  you  is  clearly  a  call  which  belongs  to  the  service 
of  God. 

I  send  Peter  to  you,  and  do  you  send  us  Antonio  in  return, 
as  soon  as  he  is  well,  which  we  hope  may  be  in  six  days  or  a 
week.  I  have  sent  to  Manuel  da  Cruz  a  careful  letter,  pressing 
him  both  by  entreaties  and  arguments  to  make  haste  about 
finishing  the  church. 

Send  me  my  little  case^^  by  the  first  boat  that  sets  out  for 
this  place.  I  shall  get  through  the  work  I  have  here  on  hand 
as  soon  as  possible,  and  then  be  off  to  you ;  for  in  truth  I 
long  much  more,  I  think,  than  you  suppose,  to  stay  and  talk 

^  Capsulam.     It  may  have  been  a  satchel  in  which  he  carried  what  he 
wanted  for  the  celebration  of  mass  on  his  journeys. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  205 

with  you  for  some  days.  Let  me  know  by  letter  at  once  what- 
ever you  want  either  of  help  or  advice.  You  will  be  sure  of 
finding  a  messenger,  there  are  so  many  going  to  and  fro  daily. 
Bear  these  people,  as  it  were,  on  your  shoulders,  treat  them  with 
unwearied  patience  and  longsuffering  tolerance,  keep  them  from 
evil  and  advance  them  in  good  as  much  as  you  can,  and  be 
content.  And  then,  after  all,  if  you  find  some  whom  you  can- 
not win  to  their  duty  by  indulgence  and  kindness,  consider 
that  the  moment  is  come  for  that  work  of  mercy  which  consists 
in  the  timely  chastisement  of  those  who  deserve  punishment, 
and  who  cannot  be  driven  to  good  except  by  severity. 

May  God  help  you,  as  I  pray  that  He  may  assist  myself ! 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Tuticorin,  May  14th,  1544.  FranciS. 

After  this  last  letter  the  correspondence  with  Mancias  is 
interrupted  for  more  than  a  month  (May  14 — June  20),  and 
there  is  a  similar  break  later  on,  as  we  have  no  letter  between 
September  29  and  November  8.  In  fact,  the  letters  are  ex- 
tremely irregular  in  their  distribution;  sometimes  several  are 
crowded  together  within  a  few  days,  at  others,  as  we  have 
said,  long  intervals  separate  them.  When  we  consider  the 
evident  care  with  which  Mancias  has  preserved  what  remains 
to  us,  it  seems  unlikely  that  he  received  many  more.  The 
probable  solution  of  the  apparent  difficulty  lies  in  remember- 
ing that  the  care  of  the  Fishery  Coast  itself,  which  involved 
frequent  correspondence  with  Mancias,  Coelho,  and  the  other 
assistants  of  Francis  Xavier,  was  only  a  part,  and  even  only  an 
occasional  part,  of  his  occupation  at  this  time,  and  that  he  was 
very  frequently  at  a  distance  from  Munahpaud,  Punical,  and 
Tuticorin,  which  seem  to  have  been  places  where  he  had  the 
appliances  necessary  for  maintaining  a  correspondence,  and  that 
he  wrote  his  letter  to  Mancias  when  he  found  himself  at  these 
spots,  to  which  it  is  very  possible  that  the  answers  and  other 
communications  to  him  would  be  addressed.  Any  one  who 
reads  cursorily  over  the  series  of  letters  on  which  we  are  now 

2o6  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

engaged  might  think  that  St.  Francis  was  fixed  on  the  Fishery- 
Coast  for  nearly  the  whole  of  the  year  1544.  This,  however, 
would  be  a  mistaken  conclusion,  for  his  own  letters  to  Europe, 
written  early  in  the  year  1545,  and  in  which  he  speaks  of 
the  progress  of  the  Gospel  during  the  previous  year,  mention 
other  parts,  as  the  coast  around  Coulan,  and  the  kingdom  of 
Travancore,  as  the  scene  of  numerous  conversions,  and  we 
know  in  the  same  way  that  he  visited  Ceylon,  and  towards  the 
end  of  the  year  sailed  up  the  whole  western  coast  of  India  to 
the  extreme  north,  in  order  to  meet  the  Governor  at  Cambaia, 
returning  thence  to  Cochin,  from  which  place  the  letters  are 
written.  The  letters  to  Mancias,  therefore,  are  strictly  letters 
confined  to  the  business  of  the  moment  as  far  as  Mancias  was 
himself  concerned  in  it,  and  looked  upon  in  this  light,  they 
give  us  an  idea  of  the  extreme  activity  of  St.  Francis  at  this 
time,  when  the  affairs  with  which  they  deal  formed  but  a  part 
of  his  work.  The  biographers  of  Francis  have  not  thought 
it  necessary  to  dwell  at  any  length  on  the  letters  now  before 
us,  probably  for  the  reason  already  hinted  at,  that  the  more 
important  labours  of  this  year  are  not  mentioned  in  them. 
These  letters  are  valuable  to  us  chiefly  on  account  of  the  inti- 
mate knowledge  which  they  afford  us  of  the  character  of  their 
writer,  of  which,  indeed,  in  this  respect,  they  form  a  monument 
almost  unique.  We  must  fill  up  the  picture  of  the  work  of 
the  year  very  mainly  from  other  sources. 

The  most  prominent  part  of  that  work  was  undoubtedly 
the  conversion,  in  great  measure,  of  the  inhabitants  of  the 
kingdom  of  Travancore,  of  which  we  have  already  said  some- 
thing. It  cannot  be  ascertained  except  conjecturally  at  what 
period  of  the  year  Francis  first  entered  the  kingdom,  but  we 
may  perhaps  place  it  conveniently  at  that  point  where  the 
letters  to  Mancias  break  off  for  a  month,  without  thereby  im- 
plying that  even  at  an  earlier  period  Francis  may  not  have 
preached  in  parts  of  Travancore.  But  the  letters  which  we 
have  already  inserted  show  him  to  have  been  expecting  some 
communication  from  the  Court,  and  to  have  been  inclined  to 
defer  a  projected  visit  to  the  Rajah  himself  on  account  of  the 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  207 

rumour  about  some  Portuguese  outrage.  This  visit  to  the  royal 
residence  may  have  been  put  off,  and  yet  Francis  may  have 
preached  in  the  country  with  the  leave  of  the  Prince.  In  a 
letter  written  early  in  the  following  year  he  mentions  having 
baptized  as  many  as  ten  thousand  in  the  space  of  a  month, 
and  his  giving  this  exact  measure  of  time  would  fit  in  very 
well  with  the  conjecture  that  the  weeks  between  the  middle 
of  May  and  the  middle  of  June  were  spent  in  this  undertak- 
ing. The  letter  to  which  we  refer  gives  also  an  account  of 
his  method  of  proceeding,  which  is  almost  the  same  with  his 
method  on  the  Fishery  Coast,  if  we  allow  for  the  important 
difference,  that  in  the  case  of  the  latter  he  had  to  do  with 
people  already  nominally  Christians.  The  people  of  Travan- 
core were  partly  Mussulmans  and  partly  idolaters.  We  must 
suppose,  from  an  expression  in  a  letter  to  the  King  of  Por- 
tugal, in  which  the  '  coasts  of  Coulan'  are  spoken  of  as  being 
under  his  authority,  that  the  Portuguese  exercised  some  sort 
of  power  along  the  whole  seaboard,  and  not  only  in  their  for- 
tified settlements ;  but  the  whole  country,  except  the  fringe  of 
land  along  the  sea,  was  under  the  Rajah,  who  was  an  ally  of 
Portugal.  In  accordance  with  his  custom,  Francis  would  en- 
deavour to  obtain,  as  St.  Augustine  asked  from  Ethelbert 
on  his  landing  in  England,  the  Rajah's  acquiescence  in  his 
preaching  to  his  subjects.  This  seems  to  have  been  readily 
given,  and  the  conversions  followed  rapidly.  No  doubt  the 
fame  of  the  life  and  miracles  of  St.  Francis  had  already  spread 
far  and  wide  through  the  whole  coast  of  India :  and  the  Pro- 
cesses assure  us  that  neither  the  gift  of  tongues  nor  the  other 
great  signs  of  an  Apostolate  which  had  been  seen  on  the  Fishery 
Coast  were  wanting  in  Travancore.  Village  after  village  re- 
ceived him  with  joy;  and  after  the  instruction  and  baptism  of 
the  inhabitants,  the  heathen  temples  were  pulled  down  and 
the  idols  broken  to  pieces.  As  he  went  on  he  left  behind  him 
everywhere  a  written  abridgement  of  Christian  doctrine,  and 
made  provision  for  its.  regular  teaching  to  the  children  and  in 
the  weekly  assemblies  of  the  new  converts.  By  the  end  of  the 
year  it  is  said  that  no  less  than  forty-five  infant  churches  had 

2o8  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

been  founded  in  this  way.  He  was  accompanied  in  his  mission 
for  six  months  of  the  year  by  the  Paul  Vaz,  mentioned  a  few 
pages  above,  who  returned  to  Europe  some  years  later,  and 
whose  report  as  to  the  method  of  life  and  preaching  of  Francis 
is  preserved  to  us  by  Bartoli.  He  mentions  the  number  just 
given,  of  forty-five  churches  founded  in  Travancore.  Francis, 
he  says,  always  went  barefoot,  with  a  poor  torn  cassock  and 
a  sort  of  cap  of  black  stuff  on  his  head.  He  was  always  called 
the  Great  Father,  and  the  Rajah  had  issued  an  edict  that  his 
own  brother  the  Great  Father  was  to  be  obeyed  as  himself, 
and  that  any  one  was  at  Hberty  to  become  Christian.  The 
Rajah  gave  him  large  sums  of  money,  the  whole  of  which  he 
spent  in  the  relief  of  the  poor.  He  could  speak  the  language 
excellently,  though  he  had  never  learnt  it,  and  the  people 
flocked  to  hear  him,  five  or  six  thousand  at  a  time,  so  that  he 
was  obliged  to  preach  from  a  tree  in  the  open  fields,  where 
also  he  used  to  celebrate  mass  in  the  presence  of  multitudes, 
under  a  canopy  made  of  the  rails  of  the  boats.  When  he  left 
the  country,  it  was  in  great  part  Christian. 

This  result,  however,  was  of  course  not  obtained  within 
the  short  space  of  time  of  which  we  are  now  speaking.  Not 
long  after  the  middle  of  June  we  find  St.  Francis  again  on  the 
Fishery  Coast,  just  in  time  to  hear  of  the  ravages  of  the  Vad- 
houger,!^  who  are  called  in  the  translations  of  the  letters  and 
in  the  current  lives  of  St.  Francis,  the  Badages.  These  terrible 
brigands — for  it  seems  most  natural  to  call  them  by  that  name 

13  See  P6re  Bertrand,  La  Mission  du  Maduri  (Paris,  1548),  t.  ii.  p.  2.  The 
many  various  statements  concerning  them  may  not  be  really  conflicting.  They 
were  a  tribe  from  the  north  (Bisnaghur),  settled  in  the  interior  of  the  kingdom 
of  Madura,  which  lay  east  and  northeast  of  Travancore  and  the  Fishery  Coast. 
At  the  time  of  which  we  speak,  they  had  an  independent  territory — the  state  of 
Pandi — but  the  Naicker  or  Rajah  of  Madura  was  their  immediate  sovereign,  and 
they  were  commissioned,  or  allowed  by  him,  to  collect  tribute  due  to  him  from 
the  neighbouring  states  under  his  supremacy.  We  have  no  absolute  certainty 
as  to  the  relations,  in  the  time  of  St.  Francis,  between  Madura  and  Travancore, 
which  may  often  have  shifted,  and  as  Travancore  seems  to  have  been  in  an  ex- 
ceptional state  of  relative  prosperity  and  influence,  it  may  easily  be  supposed  that 
these  vassals  of  the  Rajah  of  Madura  may  have  been  to  some  nominal  extent 
under  the  authority  of  the  Raj^  of  Travancore.     Madura  seems  to  have  been 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  209 

— were  probably  only  too  glad  of  so  good  an  excuse  for  plun- 
dering the  villages  on  the  Fishery  Coast  as  that  which  was 
afforded  them  by  the  fact  that  the  inhabitants  had  become 
Christians,  which  in  their  eyes  amounted  to  a  desertion  to  the 
common  enemies  of  all  the  independent  natives  of  India — the 
Portuguese.  They  had  fallen  suddenly,  a  horde  of  well-armed 
horsemen,  upon  the  feeble  and  defenceless  natives,  before  they 
had  time  to  collect  in  one  spot  to  oppose  force  by  force,  and 
the  issue  is  related  in  the  following  letter : 

(xxiv.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  arrived  on  Saturday  evening  at  Munahpaud. 
On  the  road  at  Combutur  I  met  with  very  sad  news  about 
the  Christians  at  Cape  Comorin,  which  has  made  me  quite 
wretched.  The  Badages  have  fallen  upon  them  with  the 
sword,  and  driven  them  from  their  homes,  plundered  them, 
made  a  great  number  of  them  prisoners,  and  the  rest  have 
taken  refuge  in  the  caves  of  the  rocks  which  run  out  into  the 
sea,  where  they  are  perishing  of  hunger  and  thirst.  I  am  going 
to  their  help  as  fast  as  I  can,  and  set  sail  this  very  night  with 
twenty  tones  from  Munahpaud.  Pray  to  God  for  these  poor 
creatures  and  for  ys ;  and  see  above  everything  that  the  chil- 
dren pray  to  God  for  us. 

At  Combutur  the  inhabitants  have  promised  me  to  build  a 
church,  and  Manuel  de  Lima  has  promised  to  give  a  hundred 

generally  the  more  dominant  state  of  the  two.  In  1609  the  Paravas  were  tribu- 
taries of  Madura  (letter  of  F.  A.  Laerzio,  quoted  by  Bertrand,  1.  c).  In  1700 
we  find  Travancore  also  tributary  to  Madura  [Lettres  Edifiaiites,  t.  x.  p.  77), 
and  the  Vadhouger,  or  Badages,  entering  the  territory  of  the  former  year  after 
year  to  exact  the  tribute.  F.  Organtino,  much  nearer  to  the  time  of  which  we  are 
speaking  {1568),  speaks  of  the  Badages  as  people  from  Narsinga  (a  kingdom 
north  of  Madura,  lying  close  to  Bisnaghur),  and  calls  them  'regiorum  fcrme 
vectigalium  exactores'  (Maffei,  Sel.  Epist.  ex  India,  1.  iv.  p.  431).  If  we  suppose 
these  curious  freebooters  to  have  had  a  special  hatred  to  everything  Christian 
and  Portuguese,  we  have  exactly  the  conditions  required  to  explain  the  whole 
itory  concerning  them  contained  in  the  hves  and  letters  of  St.  Francis. 
VOL.  I.  •  P 

2IO  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

fanams  of  his  own  money  to  help  the  building.  Go  over  there 
and  press  on  and  arrange  the  work.  You  may  set  out  on 
Thursday  or  Friday,  and  next  week,  God  willing,  you  shall 
go  to  visit  the  Christians  who  are  scattered  up  and  down  the 
country  between  Punical  and  Alendale ;  go  into  each  cottage, 
baptize  all  whom  you  find  who  have  not  yet  received  baptism, 
and  give  to  all  the  instructions  and  advice  they  want.  Take 
particular  and  vigilant  care  to  baptize  everywhere  the  new- 
born infants.  See  to  whether  the  persons  who  have  to  teach 
the  children  and  to  assemble  them  at  appointed  hours,  do 
their  duty. 

Charge  Manuel  da  Cruz,  who  is  living  at  Combutur,  to  pay 
great  attention  to  those  two  Christian  villages  of  Careans,  tak- 
ing diligent  care,  in  the  first  place,  to  extinguish  at  once  any 
rising  quarrels  among  them  by  reconciling  the  parties  while  the 
matter  is  yet  in  its  infancy ;  and  in  the  second  place,  to  pre- 
vent any  one  from  carving  idols  or  getting  drunk  with  arrack. 
Every  Sunday  let  the  people  all  be  assembled  to  repeat  their 
prayers  and  hear  the  Catechism  ;  the  men  in  the  morning,  the 
women  in  the  evening. 

If  Francis  Coelho  be  with  you,  tell  him  to  come  hither  at 
once,  and  that  this  is  my  order. 

May  God  keep  you  in  His  holy  protection !     Farewell. 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

From  Munahpaud,  Monday, ^^  June  i6th,  1544.  FRANCIS. 

*i  It  is  necessary  to  suppose  some  of  the  dates  of  these  letters  to  have  become 
confused  in  transcription.  The  Latin  date  given  for  this  letter  is  unusually  pre- 
cise, 'hS.c  ferii  secundi,  xii.  Kal.  Jul.  (June  20)  1544.'  St.  Francis  hardly  ever 
gives  the  days  of  the  week,  but  it  is  probable  that  the  date  of  Monday  is  exact, 
as  he  would  naturally  set  out  to  the  relief  of  the  Christians  as  soon  as  he^could, 
and  he  arrived  at  Munahpaud  on  Saturday  evening.  But  June  20th  was  on 
a  Friday,  not  a  Monday,  so  we  must  alter  the  date  to  June  i6th.  The  letter 
(p.  212)  dated  June  30th  speaks  of  his  return  to  Munahpaud,  after  having  failed 
to  reach  the  Cape,  and  having  been  a  week  at  sea,  as  '  last  Tuesday' — tliat  June  24th,  and  would  just  leave  a  week  between  the  two  letters.  The 
intermediate  letter  dated  Virandapatanam,  June  22,  would  seem  to  have  been 
written  at  a  moment  in  the  struggle  to  get  along  the  coast  where  Francis  may 
have  put  to  land.  The  boats  were  sometimes  towed  along  shore,  so  that  he 
might  easily  be  on  shore  to  write  a  short  note.     This  is  evidently  very  hurried. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  211 

Francis  Xavier  seems  to  have  set  out  at  once  for  the  Cape 
by  sea,  but  to  have  failed  in  reaching  it.  The  next  two  letters 
carry  on  the  history. 

(xxv.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

This  to  tell  you  that,  by  God's  grace,  I  am  very 
well.  May  He  Who  is  pleased  to  give  me  health  also  grant 
that  I  may  use  it  in  His  service  ! 

Let  me  know  daily  how  things  are  in  your  parts,  how  your 
affairs  get  on,  what  the  Christians  are  about,  and  so  on.  Work 
as  hard  as  you  can  to  get  the  church  built.  Let  me  hear  at 
once  when  it  is  finished.  I  send  with  this  a  letter  to  the  Com- 
mandant, which  please  to  put  into  the  hands  of  a  very  trusty 
messenger.  Again  and  again  I  beg  of  you  to  give  your  first 
attention  to  the  education  of  the  children.  And  I  am  also 
very  anxious  that  you  should  take  the  greatest  care  to  baptize 
yourself  every  newborn  infant  as  soon  as  it  is  born,  or  as  soon 
as  possible,  that  Paradise  may  be  peopled  by  their  souls  at 
least,  most  of  which  leave  their  Httle  bodies  before  the  age 
of  reason,  since  we  cannot  get  the  grownup  folk  to  go  there, 
either  by  punishment  or  promises  of  good. 

Greet  Manuel  da  Cruz  much  for  me.  I  exhort  Matthew 
to  persevere  and  to  improve  in  all  good.  Take  pains  to  show 
yourself  kind  and  affable  to  the  people,  particularly  to  the 
magistrates  and  to  the  village  chiefs — Adigares,  as  they  are 
called.  May  our  Lord  be  with  you  always  Farewell. 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 
From  Virandapatanam,^'^  June  22,  1544.  rRANCIS. 

This  conjecture  would  account  for  the  unusual  announcement  that  the  writer 
was  in  good  health — notwithstanding  the  sufferings  to  which  he  had  been  ex- 
posed. [It  is  as  well  to  state  that  we  here  omit  a  letter  inserted  in  the  Latin 
collection.     It  is  given  in  the  notes.] 

15  Probably  Viranda  and  Patanam — perhaps  begun  at  one  place  and  ended 
at  the  other— unless  this  was  really  a  place  combining  the  two  names,  Viranda- 

212  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

The  next  letter  relates  the  issue  of  the  unavailing  attempt 
made  by  Francis  to  reach  the  Cape  by  sea. 

(xxvi.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

On  Tuesday  last  I  came  back  to  Munahpaud, 
and  God  our  Lord  knows  what  I  have  gone  through  in  my 
voyage.  I  had  set  off  with  twenty  tones  to  comfort  the  Chris- 
tians whom  the  Badages  have  driven  into  flight,  who,  as  I  was 
told,  were  dying  miserably  of  hunger  and  thirst  amongst  the 
rocks  which  bound  the  shores  of  Cape  Comorin ;  but  I  met 
with  strong  winds  from  the  opposite  quarter,  and  neither  by 
rowing  nor  by  towing  could  we  make  head  against  the  sea,  and 
I  was  not  able  once  to  get  a  single  vessel  to  the  Cape.  If  these 
winds  fall,  I  shall  go  there  again  to  take  what  relief  I  can  to 
these  poor  creatures  in  their  extreme  distress ;  for  a  man  must 
be  harder  than  iron  if  he  could  give  up  making  all  eff"orts  in 
his  power  to  relieve  the  miserable  case  of  these  people,  who 
are  our  brethren  in  the  worship  of  Christ — a  case  I  really 
think  the  most  calamitous  that  can  be  found  anywhere.  Many 
of  the  fugitives  arrive  every  day  at  Munahpaud  without  cloth- 
ing, nearly  dead  with  hunger,  and  destitute  of  everything.  I 
am  writing  to  the  Patangatins  of  Combutur,  of  Punical,  and  of 
Tuticorin,  to  collect  for  them  some  little  alms,  and  get  them 
sent  to  us  :  but  bidding  them,  however,  to  exact  nothing  from 
the  poor,  but  simply  to  ask  the  captains  of  vessels,  and  others 
who  have  some  means,  of  their  own  free  will  to  contribute  to 
so  pious  a  work.  But  though  I  have  enjoined  this,  still,  as  I 
know  what  sort  of  persons  the  Patangatins  are,  I  very  much 
fear  that  they  may  make  this  an  opportunity  for  extorting 
money  from  the  poor. 

I  should  like  you  to  tell  me  how  the  building  of  the  church 
at  Combutur  is  getting  on.  Let  me  hear  all  particulars,  and 
whether  Manuel  de  Lima  has  yet  paid  the  hundred  fanams 
that  he  promised  for  the  work.  I  should  like  you  to  give  me 
at  the  same  time  a  long  and  full  account  how  your  excursion 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  213 

through  the  villages  and  your  instructions  of  the  outlying  farms 
went  off,  in  what  state  you  found  the  Christians,  how  you  left 
them,  whether  the  men  whom  we  have  appointed  to  instruct 
the  children  throughout  the  country  everywhere  do  their  duty 
well.  I  have  been  most  faithful  in  paying  them  regularly  the 
salary  which  was  promised  them,  but  I  can't  myself  watch  over 
their  behaviour  when  I  am  away.  So  I  wish  you  to  let  me 
know  about  this  accurately,  and  also  about  yourself,  how  your 
health  is,  how  you  find  your  present  abode,  what  is  going  on 
there,  and  how  religion  fares. 

We  were  a  whole  week  at  sea,  and  you  know  by  experience 
what  it  is  to  be  on  board  a  tone,  especially  with  violent  winds 
blowing  in  your  teeth,  as  we  had, — and  we  couldn't  make  our 
way  against  them  by  any  skill  or  force  whatever. 

May  God  our  Lord  protect  you  ever !     Farewell. 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  June  30th,  1544. 

After  this  letter  the  correspondence  fails  us  again  for  a 
month,  and  we  are  therefore  unable  to  trace  the  footsteps  of 
Francis  Xavier  by  its  aid.  He  seems  to  have  been  out  of  reach 
of  Mancias,  and  to  have  found  letters  from  him  when  he  him- 
self returned  to  Munahpaud.  We  conjecture  that  they  were 
out  of  reach  of  one  another  during  this  time,  because  the  next 
letter  which  we  shall  insert,  which  is  dated  at  the  beginning  of 
August,  carries  on  the  narrative  of  the  relief  of  the  Christians 
from  the  point  at  which  the  last  leaves  it,  though  several  weeks 
passed  between  the  two  letters.  We  also  suppose  that  during 
this  interval  Francis  again  plunged  into  the  kingdom  of  Tra- 
vancore.^*^ Indeed,  it  is  probable  that  we  must  fix  upon  this 
interval  as  the  time  for  one  of  the  most  famous  actions  of  the 
Saint  in  this  country.  The  Vadhouger,  or  Badages,  of  whom 
we  have  already  heard  so  much,  seem  to  have  either  continued 
their  raid  westwards  at  some  little  distance  inland,  or  to  have 

16  In  the  next  letter,  where  he  speaks  of  the  Christians  to  whose  relief  he 
had  set  out,  he  does  not  say  that  he  had  taken  them  to  Munahpaud,  but  that 
he  had  provided  for  their  being  taken  thither  (furavi  deportandos). 

214  ^^'  Fj'^ncis  Xavier. 

returned  after  a  short  interval  and  shown  an  intention  of  fall- 
ing upon  the  villages  on  the  western  slopes  of  the  mountains 
which  end  in  Cape  Comorin.  About  four  leagues  north  of  the 
Cape  lay  the  city  of  Cotate,  which  a  century  and  a  half  later 
than  this  time  was  of  considerable  size,  but  may  in  the  time 
of  St.  Francis  have  been  only  a  large  village.  A  church,  we 
believe,  still  exists  on  the  plain  a  few  miles  north  of  Cotate, 
which  commemorates  the  heroic  action  of  which  we  speak. 
From  the  account  given  in  Bartoli,  it  would  appear  that  the 
invasion  of  Travancore  was  made  by  a  more  regular  and  for- 
midable army  than  had  been  collected  for  the  ravaging  of  the 
defenceless  pearl  fisheries  along  the  south-eastern  coast  of  the 
promontory.  The  Naicker  of  Madura  was  himself  with  them 
and  in  command,  and  the  Rajah  of  Travancore  himself  was  in 
motion  with  a  considerable  force  of  his  own  subjects  to  resist 
the  aggressors.  However  this  may  have  been,  the  attack  was 
directed  principally  against  the  villages  of  new  Christians,  and 
Francis  Xavier  immediately  flew  to  their  assistance.  When 
the  Processes  for  his  canonization  came  to  be  formed  at  Co- 
chin, more  than  a  dozen  witnesses  came  forward  to  testify  to 
the  fact  that  the  whole  country  was  full  of  the  story  how,  with 
a  crucifix  in  his  hand,  he  had  gone  forth  alone  to  meet  the 
invaders,  and  severely  rebuked  them  in  the  name  of  God,  how 
the  front  ranks  stopped  on  their  march  before  him,  and  how, 
when  they  were  urged  on  by  those  behind  them  and  encour- 
aged by  their  leaders,  the  soldiers  replied  that  they  could  go 
no  further,  because  a  man  of  great  height,  of  terrible  and  ma- 
jestic presence,  in  a  black  robe,  overawed  and  frightened  theip, 
that  no  one  could  bear  the  fire  that  flashed  from  his  face  and 
eyes.  The  leaders  themselves  fell  under  the  same  overpower- 
ing influence,  and  the  whole  army  turned  upon  its  march  and 
left  the  Christians  in  peace.^^ 

17  See  Bartoli,  Asia,  t.  i.  1.  i.  p.  72.  He  is  copied  by  Massei,  Vita  de  S. 
Francesco  Xav.  1.  ii.  c.  2,  and  Bouhours,  1.  ii.  Bartoli  extracted  his  facts  from 
the  Processes  ;  and  the  references,  number  and  character  of  the  witnesses,  and 
other  details  are  given  in  the  Relatio  super  sanctitate  et  miraculis  F.  Xaverii, 
written  at  Rome  by  the  Auditors  of  the  Rota  in  the  time  of  Paul  V. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  215 

We  shall  hear  more  of  these  freebooters  presently.  Francis 
may  probably  have  spent  the  greater  part  of  July  in  preaching 
in  Travancore,  baptizing  heathen,  and  instructing  his  converts. 
This  country  became  the  scene  of  a  number  of  his  most  won- 
derful miracles.  He  is  said  to  have  raised  four  persons  from 
the  dead.  In  these  cases  no  particulars  are  given.  There  are 
other  instances  of  the  same  power  in  him,  of  which  we  have 
full  details,  and  it  may  be  worth  while  to  relate  them  shortly 
in  the  words  in  which  the  evidence  is  summed  up  in  the  Rela- 
tion prepared  in  the  time  of  Paul  V.  The  scene  of  the  first  of 
these  miracles  was  Mutan,  a  town,  as  it  seems,  on  the  coast, 
where,  as  he  was  passing  through  the  street  one  day,  he  met  a 
funeral  procession,  as  our  Lord  met  that  which  was  bearing  to 
the  grave  the  widow's  son.  The  body  was  that  of  a  youth 
who  had  died  of  a  malignant  fever,  and  had  been  kept  twenty- 
four  hours  unburied  in  a  shroud,  *  as  the  manner  is  of  that 
country,'  says  the  writer  before  us.  When  Francis  '  met  the 
bier  and  saw  the  dead  youth,  led  by  the  prayers  of  the  parents 
and  pitying  their  bereavement,  he  knelt  down,  and  raising  his 
eyes  to  heaven,  prayed  to  God  for  the  life  of  the  lad  ;  then  he 
sprinkled  the  body  with  holy  water  and  bade  them  cut  open 
the  funeral  shroud,  and  when  the  body  was  seen,  he  made  the 
sign  of  the  Cross  over  it,  and  taking  him  by  the  hand,  bade 
him  in  the  name  of  Jesus  to  live,  and  at  once  the  youth  rose 
up  alive,  and  he  gave  him  sound  and  in  good  health  to  his 
parents.i^  And  they  that  stood  by,'  he  adds,  '  marvelled,  and 
held  what  had  been  done  for  a  great  miracle,  praising  the 
holiness  of  Francis,  and  in  honour  and  memory  of  the  deed 
erected  a  cross  on  the  spot  and  held  there  a  festival.' 

The  other  miracle  of  the  same  kind  took  place  at  Coulan 
or  Quilon  on  the  coast.  Francis  had  been  for  some  time 
preaching  there  without  producing  much  effect  upon  the  peo- 

18  This  miracle,  as  well  as  that  which  follows,  has  been  selected  by  the 
Auditors  of  the  Rota  as  resting  upon  incontrovertible  evidence.  It  rests  on  the 
testimony  of  two  witnesses  whose  names  are  given,  Emanuel  Gago  and  Joam 
Audicondam,  who  were  present  and  saw  what  passed,  one  other  who  had  heard 
of  the  miracle  from  the  person  himself  who  was  raised  from  the  dead,  and  several 
others  who  bore  witness  to  the  notoriety  of  the  fact. 

2i6  5/.  Francis  Xavier. 

pie.  Coulan  was  a  seaport —  a  place  in  which  men  of  all  na- 
tions met  for  purposes  of  traffic,  and  where  the  Christian  law 
was  frequently  and  openly  dishonoured  by  those  who  bore  the 
Christian  name.  Francis  felt  himself  baffled  by  the  obstinacy 
of  the  hearts  which  he  was  trying  to  soften.  He  was  in  a 
church,  for  the  Portuguese  had  a  station  there,  and  a  man  had 
been  buried  there  the  day  before.  He  paused  in  his  sermon, 
and  prayed  awhile  silently  with  tears.  Then  he  addressed  his 
audience  with  burning  words,  telling  them  that  God  was  pleased 
to  raise  the  dead  in  order  to  convert  them.  He  bade  them 
open  the  tomb,  take  out  the  corpse,  and  tear  open  the  shroud 
in  which  it  was  wrapped.  Then  he  prayed  again,  and  the 
dead  man  rose  up  to  life.  A  large  number  were  converted, 
praising  and  blessing  God  for  the  holiness  and  power  He  had 
given  to  His  servant.^^ 

We  must  take  these  miracles  as  but  specimens — though 
no  doubt  splendid  and  remarkable  in  their  kind — of  the  signs 
which  waited  upon  the  Apostolate  of  Francis  Xavier  in  Travan- 
core.  His  life  at  this  time  must  have  been  extremely  active, 
for  we  know  him  often  to  have  been  elsewhere,  and  yet  we 
have  seen  that  the  fruits  of  his  preaching  during  this  year 
remained  in  the  establishment  of  as  many  as  forty-five  Chris- 
tian communities  or  villages  in  the  country.  Towards  the  end 
of  July  he  is  again  on  the  Fishery  Coast,  and  writes  to  Man- 
cias  a  letter  which  continues  the  subject  of  his  last. 

(xxvii.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

May  God  our  Lord  be  pleased  to  watch  over  and 
keep  you  ever,  and  grant  you  good  health  and  great  strength, 
that  you  may  spend  all  for  Him  !  Your  last  letter,  which  I 
have  just  received,  gave  me  the  greatest  pleasure,  inasmuch  as 
it  gave  me  manifest  proofs  of  your  great  diligence  in  fortifying 

18  This  miracle  rests  upon  the  testimony  of  Diego  Fernandez,  who  was  pre- 
sent and  saw  the  whole,  and  of  several  other  witnesses  who  testify  to  the  noto- 
riety of  this  fact. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  217 

and  preparing  the  people  against  the  invasion  of  the  Badages, 
that  they  may  not  be  suddenly  taken  by  surprise  by  them. 

I  went  off,  after  all,  by  land  to  the  Cape,  to  visit,  those  un- 
happy Christians  who  have  survived  the  plundering  and  cruel- 
ties of  the  Badages.  A  more  miserable  sight  could  nowhere 
be  seen;  faces  white  with  exhaustion,  livid  with  hunger;  the 
fields  covered  with  dead  and  dying,  the  disfigured  corpses 
which  had  had  no  burial,  or  the  poor  creatures  who  were  at  the 
point  of  death  from  wounds  untended  or  sickness  unrelieved. 
There  were  old  men  there  utterly  powerless  from  age  or  hunger, 
trying  in  vain  to  drag  themselves  along — there  were  women 
giving  birth  to  children  in  the  public  roads,  their  husbands 
moving  about  them,  but  unable  to  help  them,  so  universal  and 
common  to  all  was  the  very  extremity  of  destitution.  If  you 
had  seen  this  as  I  did,  your  heart  would,  I  am  sure,  have  been 
pierced  with  a  pang  of  pity  you  would  never  have  got  over. 
I  had  all  the  poor  taken  to  Munahpaud,  where  the  greater  part 
of  this  most  afflicted  people  is  now  collected  for  us  to  take  care 
of  as  well  as  we  can.  Pray  to  God  that  He  may  touch  the 
hearts  of  the  rich  with  some  mercy  for  so  many  miserable  crea- 
tures, pining  away  in  the  utmost  distress. 

I  hope  to  go  on  Wednesday  to  Punical.  Don't  relax  your 
watchfulness  for  the  people,  I  entreat  you,  until  it  is  well  ascer- 
tained the  Badages  have  gone  back  to  their  own  territories. 
Tell  Antonio  Fernandez  lo  Grosso  and  the  Patangatins  of  Old 
Chael  that  I  expressly  forbid  the  new  colony  to  go  and  haunt 
the  old  place  from  which  they  came,  that  I  will  severely  punish 
them  if  they  attempt  to  do  so.  Take  pains  to  tell  Manuel  da 
Cruz  and  Matthew  also  that  I  send  them  much  love  and  all 
kinds  of  good  wishes. 

May  our  Lord  be  with  you,  and  may  He  strengthen  us 
by  His  grace,  so  that  we  may  serve  Him  with  all  our  might ! 

Your  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

From  Munahpaud,  August  ist,  1544.  FranCIS. 

From  the  mention  of  the  Badages  in  this  letter  it  is  clear 

2 1 8  5/.  Francis  Xavier, 

that  the  danger  from  them  had  by  no  means  passed  away,  and 
indeed  the  subsequent  letters  are  full  of  them.  Early  in  the 
same  month  of  August  he  writes  to  Mancias,  who  seems  to 
have  been  himself  in  danger,  and  to  have  desired  to  retire  from 
so  arduous  a  post.  He  promises  him  that  he  would  never  him- 
self rest  until  he  had  set  him  at  liberty,  if  he  should  happen 
to  be  taken  prisoner.  He  then  tells  him  that  he  has  sent  a 
priest  to  warn  the  people  in  the  parts  where  Mancias  is,  having 
received  private  information  that  the  Badages  are  again  on  the 
move  against  them. 

(xxviii.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 
May  God  be  with  you  ever ! 

My  dear  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

The  different  kinds  of  news  given  me  in  your 
letter  affected  me  each  in  its  own  way  when  I  read  it.  I  felt 
the  greatest  delight  in  that  part  of  it  which  tells  me  how  you 
have  gone  through  your  late  visitation  of  the  villages  with  very 
great  spiritual  fruit ;  but  on  the  other  hand,  the  mere  mention 
of  your  being  taken  prisoner,  which  you  tell  me,  and  which,  I 
see  well  enough,  is  possible,  struck  me  with  grief  and  raised  a 
painful  image  before  my  mind.  If  that  were  to  happen,  I  would 
never  take  a  mom.ent's  rest  until  God  gave  you  back,  which  I 
should  think  would  be  very  soon.  '  Some  of  us,  as  you  know, 
have  had  the  experience  of  troubles  and  dangers  of  the  kind. 
May  all  things  turn  out  to  the  honour  and  glory  of  our  God, 
wonderful  in  goodness  and  in  power ! 

I  have  sent  one  of  our  priests  into  your  parts,  who  is  to 
tell  all  the  villages  to  get  their  boats  ready  and  launch  them 
all  along  the  coast,  so  that  they  may  all  embark  and  get  out  to 
sea  before  these  savage  brigands  come  down  on  them,  for  I 
have  good  grounds  for  thinking  that  they  will  soon  be  pouring 
down  upon  this  country,  as  I  am  informed  that  they  are  arming 
themselves  and  assembling  their  forces,  in  order  to  lay  waste 
the  whole  coast  down  to  the  water's  edge.    So  I  am  told  by  one 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  1 1 9 

of  the  principal  Canacars,2o  a  friend  to  the  native  Christians. 
I  had  sent  to  him  a  man  with  a  letter  addressed  to  the  Rajah 
of  Travancore,  begging  him  to  deliver  it  in  person,  and  also 
to  employ  his  favour  with  that  prince,  one  of  whose  intimate 
friends  he  is,  to  get  him  to  lay  strict  prohibitions  on  the  Ba- 
dages,  forbidding  them  to  molest  our  unhappy  Christians,  any 
harm  done  to  whom  the  Governor  of  India  would  consider 
done  to  himself,  and  would  avenge  it. 

I  had  reason  to  hope  that  he  would  do  what  I  asked,  for 
he  is  my  friend,  and  as  I  have  said,  is  well  affected  to  the 
Christians,  among  whom  he  has  several  relations  and  connec- 
tions. He  came  ^himself  to  see  me,  not  only  to  pay  his  respects, 
but  to  help  me,  offering  all  the  assistance  in  his  power  very 
earnestly.  I  wrote  to  him  that  if  the  Badages  were  so  uncon- 
trollable that  the  Rajah's  authority  was  not  enough  to  prevent 
their  ravages,  I  begged  that  at  least  I  might  have  timely  notice 
given  me  of  their  intended  invasion  on  the  coast  when  it  was 
about  to  take  place,  and  so  be  able  to  send  the  Christians  on 
board  ship  and  get  them  out  to  sea,  so  as  to  escape  by  flight 
from  massacre  and  spoliation  by  land.  And  now  he  has  with 
great  good  faith  given  me  notice  that  it  is  to  be. 

I  have  also  written  to  the  Commandant,  begging  him  to 
send  one  of  the  larger  craft  ('  catures')  well  armed,  to  serve 
as  a  protection  for  all  the  boats  of  the  Christians,  which  are 
quite  unarmed.  And  do  you  over  and  over  again  enjoin  on 
the  inhabitants,  and  especially  those  most  distant  from  the  sea, 
to  set  faithful  and  watchful  sentinels  at  the  proper  points  to  re- 
port how  things  are  hour  by  hour,  that  they  may  not  be  caught 
by  a  night  attack  of  the  horsemen  before  they  are  able  to  get 
to  the  boats,  which  they  have  made  ready,  and  set  in  safety 
off  the  shore.  But  even  when  you  have  told  them  all  this  as 
urgently  as  you  can,  I  would  have  you  put  but  very  little  con- 
fidence in  their  doing  what  you  tell  them.  I  know  too  well 
their  laziness  and  obstinate  stupidity,  and  I  quite  expect  they 
will  grudge  spending  two  fanams  to  pay  the  necessary  expenses. 
So  do  you  by  yourself,  and  by  means  of  persons  whom  you  can 

*o  The  Canacars  were  native  officials,  probably  collectors  of  revenue. 

220  Sl  Francis  Xavier, 

trust,  undertake  all  the  watching  and  all  the  care,  urging  them 
to  get  the  women  and  children  on  board  the  boats,  which  are 
already  launched ;  and  take  the  opportunity  of  this  time  of 
calamity  to  require  of  them  all,  and  especially  of  the  weaker  in 
sex  and  age,  to  have  recourse  to  God  by  reciting  their  prayers. 
Fear  is  a  grand  teacher  of  prayer,  especially  when,  as  is  the 
case  with  these  poor  folk,  they  have  no  one  to  look  to  for  help 
but  God  alone. 

I  have  no  writingpaper  here.  I  left  a  good  deal  at  your 
place  in  a  box,  and  I  shall  be  glad  if  you  can  send  me  enough 
for  present  use  by  a  messenger  with  great  despatch.  I  shall 
expect  a  letter  from  you  by  the  same  hand,  to  tell  me  whether 
the  boats  are  already  at  sea,  and  whether  the  poor  furniture 
and  slender  properties  of  the  families  who  are  in  danger  on 
land  have  been  placed  in  them,  with  the  wives  and  children. 
If  this  has  not  been  done,  let  it  be  seen  to  immediately.  Go 
in  my  name  to  Antonio  Fernandez  lo  Grosso,  and  conjure 
him  by  his  friendship  for  me  to  pour  out  the  whole  of  the  love 
he  bears  to  me  in  the  work  of  saving  these  poor  wretches,  and 
to  use  his  authority  in  hastening  their  flight,  and  even  forcing 
them  to  it,  as  the  only  chance  of  saving  their  lives  and  not 
only  their  liberty.  I  say,  their  lives  and  lifeblood,  because  as 
to  those  who  are  better  off  than  the  rest,  the  greedy  robbers 
may  perhaps  look  for  more  gain  by  having  them  ransomed 
and  bought  off,  and  so  may  carry  them  away  alive ;  but  their 
avarice  can  expect  nothing  from  the  poor,  and  so  these  will 
be  cruelly  slaughtered.  Again  and  again  I  insist,  be  sure  to 
have  sentinels  on  the  watch,  in  many  different  places  of  the 
coast,  all  night,  especially  now  that  the  moon  is  at  the  full 
and  gives  convenient  light  for  any  expedition  by  night. 

May  God  keep  you  under  His  protection,  the  only  .protec- 
tion worth  trusting  to  !     Farewell. 

Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

From  Munahpaud,  August  3rd,  1544.  FRANCIS. 

A  fortnight  later  we  find  him  writing  again  most  urgently 
to  Mancias  to  do  all  in  his  power  to  relieve  the  misery  of  the 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  1 2  1 

Christians.  There  was  now  danger  in  another  quarter.  Tuti- 
corin,  to  the  north,  on  the  eastern  coast  of  the  extremity  of 
the  peninsula  of  India,  has  been  threatened.  There  have 
been  disturbances  of  some  sort,  in  which  we  gather  that  it 
is  only  too  probable  that  the  Portuguese — a  small  garrison, 
apparently,  holding  a  fortress  of  some  strength,  rather  than  the 
whole  town — have  had  something  to  do.  Francis  is  afraid 
that  all  this  will  make  the  case  of  the  Christians  harder  than 
ever.  Reports  reach  him  that  some  Portuguese  have  been 
wounded,  if  not  slain.  Mancias  must  have  been  at  Tuticorin, 
or  nearer  to  it  than  Francis,  for  the  letter  requires  him  to  let 
him  know  how  things  are.  Then  there  is  a  postscript :  he  has 
just  heard  that  the  Christians  had  been  plundered  and  chased 
into  a  forest  by  the  Badages.  *We  are  overwhelmed  with 
bad  news  from  every  side.     God  be  praised  always  !' 

(xxix.)   To  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  have  another  opportunity  of  writing,  so  I 
again  urge  upon  you  what  I  did  this  morning.  I  implore  you 
again  and  again  to  relieve  and  console  with  every  exertion  in 
your  power  these  unfortunate  people  in  their  deep  distress; 
and  also,  what  I  shall  count  as  the  greatest  kindness  you  can 
do  me,  in  your  charity  to  send  me  at  once  a  faithful  account  of 
what  has  really  taken  place  at  Tuticorin. 

I  very  much  Year  that  these  troubles  at  Tuticorin  may 
somehow  add  fresh  ruin  and  misery  to  our  poor  Christians, 
who  have  already  miseries  enough  to  bear.  People  here  are  in 
such  consternation  with  anxiety  about  impending  calamities 
that  no  words  can  describe  it;  I  could  not  bear  to  think,  and 
I  hope  no  one  else  could,  of  our  abandoning  these  people  at 
this  moment  of  uncertainty  and  affliction.  So  do  not  go  with 
Joam  Artiaga  where  he  wishes  to  take  you,  as  long  as  there  is 
any  danger  at  all  from  the  Badages  where  you  are ;  and  when 
you  have  got  any  news  about  them,  let  me,  I  beseech  you, 
have  it  from  you  at  once. 

22  2  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

The  Rajah  of  Travancore  is  sending  a  Brahmin  to  them, 
who  takes  with  him  the  interpreter  of  our  Commandant  to  try 
and  persuade  them  to  peace.  No  one  knows  what  will  be 
the  result.  We  have  both  the  envoys  here  at  Munahpaud 
just  about  to  embark.  I  am  very  desirous  to  know  what  has 
been  going  on  with  the  Portuguese  at  Tuticorin;  and  again 
and  again  I  entreat  you  to  write  to  me  the  whole  story  mi- 
nutely and  particularly,  and  to  write  at  once ;  as  soon  as  you 
have  any  news,  write  it  down  and  send  it  off.  I  am  in  a  per- 
fect fever  of  anxiety  and  care  and  trouble,  and  nothing  but 
letters  from  you  can  deliver  me  from  it.  There  is  a  report 
here,  that  some  Portuguese  and  Christians  have  been  wounded 
or  even  killed ;  and  whether  it  is  true  or  not,  whether  anything 
has  happened,  and  what  and  how,  I  am  burning  for  you  to 
jtell  me.  As  to  your  journey,  we  will  either  settle  it  when  next 
we  meet,  or  if  the  storm  from  the  Badages  should  blow  over 
first,  I  will  write  very  soon  and  tell  you  what  I  think. 

May  our  Lord  be  ever  with  you  !     Amen. 

-  From  Munahpaud,  19th  August,  1544. 

At  this  very  moment  I  have  a  letter  from  Guarim,  in  which, 
my  dearest  brother,  he  sends  me  word  that  the  Christians  have 
fled  into  the  forest,  after  having  been  stripped  of  everything  by 
the  Badages,  who  have  wounded  one  of  them,  as  well  as  a 
heathen  native.  Bad  news  comes  pouring  in  on  all  sides. 
God  our  Lord  be  praised  for  ever  and  ever ! 

Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


The  next  day  he  writes,  evidently  in  answer  to  a  letter  from 
Mancias,  speaking  very  severely  of  the  complicity  in  the  mis- 
fortunes of  the  Christians  of  some  one  who  ought  to  have  been 
on  their  side — probably  the  Portuguese  commandant.  He  is 
mentioned  in  a  later  letter  as  having  been  the  cause  of  some 
homicides  at  Tuticorin,  and  as  having  extorted  money  from 
natives  who  were  afterwards  put  to  death.  Mancias,  like  the 
Apostles  in  the  Gospel,  has  been  inclined  to  call  down  the 
vengeance  of  heaven  on  the  offender. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  223 

(xxx.)   To  Francis  Mancias. 

May  God  be  with  you !     Amen. 

My  dearest  Brother, 

Those  words  of  our  Lord,  Ife  that  is  not  with 
Me  is  agai?ist  Me,  will  make  you  understand  how  destitute  we 
here  are  of  any  friends  to  aid  us  in  bringing  this  people  to 
Jesus  Christ.  But  we  must  not  despond,  for  God  at  the  end 
will  render  unto  each  one  according  to  his  deserts,  and  it  is 
very  easy  for  Him,  when  He  pleases,  to  accomplish  by  means 
of  a  few  what  seemed  to  require  the  work  of  many.  I  say 
again  and  again,  I  feel  far  more  of  compassion  for  those  who 
fight  against  God,  than  of  any  desire  to  call  down  greater 
vengeance  on  their  heads — they  are  already  miserable  enough 
in  the  mere  fact  that  they  do  so  fight.  Why  should  we  draw 
down  on  them  God's  vengeance,  which  will  certainly  not  fail 
at  its  own  time  ?  And  how  severe  are  the  punishments  which 
God  at  last  inflicts  on  His  enemies,  we  see  well  enough,  as 
often  as  we  turn  our  mind's  eye  to  the  inextinguishable  furnace 
of  hell,  whose  fires  are  to  rage  throughout  all  eternity  for  so 
many  miserable  sinners. 

The  Brahmin  I  wrote  to  you  about  yesterday  is  going  to 
you  with  the  Rajah's  message  to  the  Badages :  do  your  very 
best,  I  entreat  you,  that  he  may  find  a  ship  ready  to  take  him 
safely  and  quickly  to  Tuticorin.  I  adjure  you,  as  you  love 
God,  to  write  me  word  fully  at  once  and  diligently,  what  has 
happened  and  is  happening  there  ;  I  mean  all  about  the  Com- 
mandant, the  Portuguese,  the  Christians  of  Tuticorin ;  tell  me 
all  most  distinctly,  if  you  care  to  relieve  me  from  very  painful 

Say  a  great  many  kind  things  to  Joam  d'Artiaga,  and  also 
to  Manuel  da  Cruz,  from  me.  Tell  Matthew  that  he  is  not 
to  think  he  is  working  in  vain ;  I  am  getting  ready  for  him 
a  great  many  more  good  things  than  he  expects  or  wishes  for. 

May  our  Lord  be  with  3^ou  !     Amen. 
From  Munahpaud,  August  20th,  1544. 

2  24  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

Pray,  for  the  love  of  God,  take  care  that  the  Brahmin 
meets  with  no  delay  in  setting  sail.     Get  the  Commandant  to 
receive  him  honourably,  at  least  with  kind  words  and  looks. 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Again  we  have  another  letter  on  the  following  day.  Man- 
cias  has  been  asking  to  be  removed  to  a  more  secure  spot. 
Francis  tells  him  that  he  will  send  a  priest  in  his  stead  as  soon 
as  his  country  is  free  from  the  alarm  of  the  Badages  :  he  is  to 
go  to  Manaar,  an  island  off  Ceylon,  of  which  we  now  hear  for 
the  first  time,  but  which  soon  became  famous  in  the  Christian 
history  of  India.  Francis  himself  is  at  Punical,  where  Man- 
cias  had  been  at  first  stationed.  He  has  no  interpreter,  but 
finds  work  enough  to  do  in  baptizing  children  and  taking  care 
of  the  sick  and  poor.  He  is  going  off  to  Tala,  to  comfort  the 
sufferers  from  the  late  raid ;  but  the  Badages  have  left  his 
part  of  the  coast  free  for  the  present.  He  hopes  to  reduce 
them  to  peace  by  the  authority  of  the  Rajah  of  Travancore. 
We  give  this  letter,  as  well  as  another  written  on  his  return 
from  Tala,  which  goes  considerably  into  details  as  to  his  wish 
to  visit  the  Rajah. 

(xxxi.)   To  Francis  Mancias. 
May  God  be  always  with  you  !    Amen. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Your  last  letter  gladdened  my  heart,  giving  me 
so  much  news  that  I  was  anxious  to  have,  and  which  it  will  be 
of  use  for  me  to  know.  I  am  still  expecting  to  hear  again 
from  you  that  your  people  and  the  country  about  you  are  en- 
tirely safe  from  the  Badages,  and  I  beg  you  to  tell  me  of  this 
as  soon  as  ever  you  can  do  so  with  truth.  Then  you  will  be 
able  without  danger,  and  without  giving  your  present  people 
any  ground  of  complaint,  to  go  elsewhere,  where,  as  you  know, 
there  is  a  bright  hope  and  fair  occasion  of  doing  something 
good  for  the  service  of  God.     I  shall  then  send  you  Father 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  22^ 

Francis  Coelho  to  take  your  present  post.  Thus  you  will  be 
quite  free,  and  will  leave  with  the  approval  of  all,  and  go  where 
there  is  great  expectation  of  fruitful  labour  for  the  glory  of 
God,  to  baptize  the  natives  of  Careapatana,  and  work  in  other 
ways  for  the  service  of  religion  with  the  Carean  people  of 
Beadala  and  the  ruler  of  those  parts,  whom  they  call  the  Mu- 
daliar.  The  Governor  of  the  province  of  Negapatam  has  great 
influence  and  favour  with  the  Rajah  of  Jafanapatam,  under 
whose  dominion  the  isles  of  Manaar  lie,  and  his  disposition  is 
such  that  we  may  well  hope  that  he  will  protect  them  with  his 
favour  with  his  sovereign.  As  soon,  therefore,  as  the  people 
where  you  are  are  in  perfect  tranquillity,  and  entirely  free  from 
all  fear  of  the  Badages^  you  must  send  a  messenger  to  let  me 
know  this,  that  I  may  send  without  further  delay  Francis  Coelho 
with  money,  letters  of  introduction,  where  they  are  wanted, 
and  written  instructions,  as  to  what  I  send  you  to  Manaar 
to  do,  how  It  is  to  be  done,  and  for  how  long. 

I  recommend  our  brother  Joam  d'Artiaga  most  particularly 
to  your  kindness ;  and  write  me  word  what  he  is  in  need  of, 
that  I  may  provide  it  duly  for  him.  I  am  almost  alone  here, 
since  Antonio  has  remained  ill  at  Munahpaud,  and  what  is 
very  inconvenient,  I  am  working  in  the  midst  of  a  people 
whose  language  I  do  not  understand,  and  I  have  no  inter- 
preter. The  only  shifts  for  an  interpreter  that  I  have  had  are 
Rodriguez,  who  is  here  now,  and  Antonio  when  he  was  here. 
You  can  tell  yourself  how  much  they  know  of  our  language. 
So  you  can  easily  imagine  how  I  live  here,  what  sort  of  in- 
structions I  can  give,  when  the  persons  who  ought  to  explain 
to  the  people  what  I  say  don't  understand  me,  nor  I  them. 
My  only  way  of  eloquence  at  present  is  that  of  signs.  How- 
ever, I  am  not  without  something  to  do,  for  I  do  not  require 
an  interpreter  to  baptize  the  little  children  just  born,  or  those 
whom  their  parents  bring  to  me  for  baptism,  and  when  I  see 
people  without  clothes  or  worn  with  hunger,  the  mere  sight  of 
them  and  their  whole  appearance  tells  me  what  they  want.  I 
am  so  well  occupied  in  these  two  chief  kinds  of  most  useful 
work  that  I  have  no  regret  as  to  the  time  spent  in  them.     The 

VOL.  I.  Q 

2  26  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

Badages,  who  were  infesting  this  coast,  are  all  gone  to  Cabe- 
cate,  leaving  us  free  and  without  fear  for  the  present ;  but  those 
who  were  ranging  through  the  interior  of  the  country  are  still 
committing  most  cruel  ravages  there,  nor  will  they  cease  from 
rapine  and  violence,  until  peace  or  a  truce  is  made  with  them 
by  the  authority  of  the  Rajah  of  Travancore.  I  told  you  we 
were  trying  to  bring  this  about. 

May  our  Lord  be  ever  with  you  !     Amen. 

From  Punical,  August  21,  1544. 

This  night  I  sail  for  Tala,  to  comfort,  if  I  can,  the  poor  in- 
digent folk  who,  I  am  told,  are  there  in  great  numbers,  suffering 
the  utmost  distress. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


It  is  important  to  notice  the  date  of  this  last  letter,  as  it 
makes  it  clear  that  as  early  as  the  August  of  1544,  Francis  had 
received  overtures  from  the  inhabitants  of  the  island  of  Manaar, 
who  sent  to  him  to  beg  for  instruction  and  baptism.  The  fame 
of  his  miracles  and  sanctity  had  flown  across  the  gulf  which 
separates  Ceylon  and  its  little  adjacent  islands  from  the  main- 
land of  India.  We  shall  presently  have  to  relate  the  issue  of 
this  Manarese  deputation,  which  came  at  a  time  when,  as  we 
shall  see  from  the  next  letter  in  our  series,  Francis  was  very 
anxious  to  secure  the  work  on  which  he  had  lately  been  en- 
gaged in  Travancore  from  ruin  by  means  of  the  protection 
of  the  (so  called)  '  Great  King.*  We  have  already  spoken  of 
the  system  adopted  by  Francis  for  the  prosecution  and  in- 
crease of  the  faith  among  his  converts  on  the  Fishery  Coast. 
Such  system  required  considerable  organization.  The  priests 
need  not  be  very  numerous ;  but  there  must  be  a  building  for 
religious  meetings  in  each  several  village,  and  besides  these, 
there  must  be  persons  appointed  to  take  the  lead  at  these 
meetings,  to  teach  the  Catechism  to  the  children,  to  baptize 
newborn  infants  in  cases  of  danger,  to  announce  marriages, 
settle  disputes,  and  the  like;  and  the  method  adopted  by  Francis 
Xavier  required  that  these  should  be  well  paid,  and  kept  regu- 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  227 

larly  to  their  work  under  the  supervision  of  the  missionaries, 
who  were  to  move  about  from  place  to  place,  making  several 
circuits  in  the  course  of  the  year.  All  this,  together  with  the 
provision  for  the  priests  themselves,  and  the  security  of  the 
new  converts  from  the  tyranny  of  their  own  local  Adigares,  as 
well  as  from  the  ever  recurring  danger  of  a  raid  from  the  Ba- 
dages,  had  to  be  looked  to,  and  it  is  evident  that  Francis  was 
in  hopes  of  inducing  the  Rajah  himself  to  make  arrangements 
for  it.  But  so  many  demands  required  full  exposition,  and  the 
personal  influence  of  Francis  himself  to  enforce  them.  The 
Rajah  had  already  shown  himself  very  favourable,  as  will  be 
seen  from  the  following  letter,  but  there  was  still  much  to  be 
done  before  the  whole  plan  could  be  organized.  We  may  rea- 
sonably suppose  that  it  was  this  which  had  occupied  Francis, 
and  made  him  give  up  the  thought  of  going  himself  to  Manaar, 
while  at  the  same  time  he  was  doubtful  whether  it  would  be 
prudent  to  venture  to  ask  so  much,  as  long  as  the  Court  of 
Travancore  had  just  reason  to  feel  indignant  at  the  misconduct 
of  the  Portuguese. 

(xxxii.)  To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

The  Prince  who  resides  at  Tala,  and  who  is  re- 
lated to  the  Rajah  of  Travancore,  is  so  friendly  to  us,  that  as 
soon  as  he  heard  of  the  wrongs  done  by  the  Adigares  to  the 
Christians  of  those  parts,  he  sent  at  once  one  of  his  house- 
hold in  his  own  name  with  a  letter  for  the  Adigares,  bidding 
them  to  permit  free  exportation  of  food  and  other  necessaries 
from  the  continent  to  the  islands  where  the  Christians  are,  and 
to  help  them  with  every  other  kind  of  friendly  assistance  of 
which  they  are  in  need.  He  charged  this  officer  to  find  put 
from  the  Christians  the  names  of  the  Adigares,  so  as  to  commu- 
nicate them  to  me,  and  bring  him  also  a  written  list  of  them, 
that  if  he  has  occasion  by  and  bye  to  go  to  visit  the  Rajah,  he 
may  be  able  to  tell  him  the  names  of  the  men  who  holding 
the  rank  of  Adigares  have  abused  their  authority  to  vex  the 

228  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

Christians,  so  that  the  Rajah,  who  shows  us  favour,  may  pre- 
vent them  from  such  conduct  in  future. 

I  want  you  to  arrange  with  the  Patangatins  that  the  person 
sent  by  the  Prince  to  aid  the  Christians  may  be  received  by 
them  with  every  mark  of  honour,  that  they  may  give  him  a 
present  as  a  reward,  paying  him  gratefully  and  well  for  the 
journey  and  trouble  he  has  taken  on  their  account.  I  cannot 
do  it  myself,  nor  can  the  people  here,  we  are  so  poor  just  now. 
The  Patangatins  must  not  be  afraid  to  spend  in  this  useful  and 
pious  way  a  small  sum  out  of  the  public  money,  which  they 
very  often  spend  so  mischievously  on  dances,  banquets,  and 
other  profane  pleasures  of  the  same  kind.  And  do  you  your- 
self, out  of  your  own  poverty,  give  something  to  win  the  man's 
favour,  that  he  may  be  softened  by  all  these  little  presents,  and 
discharge  with  greater  alacrity  and  efficacy  his  commission, 
which  is  to  make  the  Adigares  afraid  in  future  to  annoy  the 
Christians,  as  they  have  done  up  to  the  present  time,  to  their 
great  loss  and  suffering;  and,  on  the  contrary,  to  constrain 
them  to  show  our  people  all  those  kindly  offices  which  are  to 
be  expected  from  good  and  friendly  neighbours  in  the  thousand 
daily  occasions  of  mutual  intercourse  and  commerce. 

I  am  most  anxious  to  know  what  you  have  heard  with  cer- 
tainty of  the  affair  which  has  made  so  much  noise  here.  It  has 
been  reported  ever3rwhere  that  a  Portuguese  had  carried  off 
one  of  the  Rajah  of  Travancore's  servants,  and  had  taken  him 
in  fetters  to  Tuticorin.  Now  I  know  that  rumour  often  reports 
things  which  are  either  without  foundation,  or  much  exaggerated 
by  ill  will.  Tell  me  first  whether  the  fact  be  true;  then,  if  it  be 
so,  what  right  the  Portuguese  alleges  on  his  own  side,  what 
occasion  or  pretext  he  would  have  had  for  such  an  act.  I  have 
already  written  to  you  at  length  touching  this  business  and  the 
reports  which  are  current  about  it.  It  is  the  more  necessary 
for  me  to  know  exactly  how  the  truth  is,  as  my  plan  of  going 
to  visit  the  Rajah  depends  on  what  I  may  hear.  For  if  this  crime 
has  really  been  committed,  and  in  the  way  report  says,  I  think 
it  will  be  better  to  put  off  the  whole  thing  and  not  to  go  to 
that  court,  where  the  very  sight  of  a  European  would  be  hate- 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  229 

ful,  and  where  I  should  have  to  face  the  responsibility  of  so 
inexcusable  an  outrage.  Any  one  can  see  how  detestable  the 
whole  country  and  especially  the  Court  itself  must  think  it,  that 
a  foreigner  should  dare  to  lay  violent  hands  on  a  servant  of  the 
Maharajah  in  a  place  under  his  dominion,  especially  when 
that  prince  is  behaving  so  differently  to  us.  Just  lately  he  re- 
ceived Father  Francis  Coelho  with  wonderful  courtesy,  and 
granted  him  absolutely  every  favour  that  he  asked  for  the  Chris- 
tians; indeed,  he  showed  himself  so  very  well  inclined  to 
benefit  them  on  representations  of  this  Father,  that,  to  give 
him  some  striking  proof  of  his  regard,  he,  of  his  own  accord, 
created  four  of  our  Munahpaud  Christians  Patangatins,  and 
this  without  any  fees  from  them,  and  without  any  cost  to  the 
people,  for  he  formally  forbade  the  exaction  of  any  money  on 
this  occasion,  as  was  formerly  the  custom  in  the  time  of  the 
Pulas.  Besides  this,  he  has  created  three  other  Christian  Pa- 
tangatins in  other  places  without  any  expense  to  the  inhabit- 
ants, declaring  with  the  greatest  kindness  that  he  did  all  this 
out  of  regard  to  Father  Coelho,  who  had  been  to  visit  him,  as 
I  told  you. 

I  conjure  you,  by  the  love  you  bear  to  God,  write  to  the 
Commandant  as  precisely  as  possible  in  my  name,  to  say  that 
I  entreat  him  over  and  over  again  that  if  he  has  any  regard 
for  me  he  will  abstain  during  this  whole  month  of  September 
from  any  offence  or  violence  whatever  to  the  subjects  of  the 
Maharajah,  and  not  permit  any  Portuguese  to  treat  any  of 
them  injuriously  during  the  same  time.  Give  him  as  a  reason, 
what  is  qujte  true,  that  we  find  this  nation  of  the  subjects  of 
the  Rajah  of  Travancore  more  easy  to  persuade  and  better 
disposed  than  any  other  in  all  that  concerns  the  interests  of 
religion  and  of  the  Christians.  If  the  Commandant  will  only 
believe  this,  I  cannot  doubt  that  he  would  see  most  forcible 
reasons  in  it  for  granting  my  request  that  he  will  do  no  harm 
to  people  who  deserve  so  well  at  our  hands.  You  will  easily 
see  what  I  am  at  in  making  this  compact  for  a  kind  of  truce 
for  this  next  month.  You  know  that  I  am  thinking,  on  account 
of  important  interests  of  religion,  of  going  to  the  Rajah  within 

230  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

the  time  I  have  named,  and  I  should  be  annoyed  and  grieved 
beyond  measure  if  my  access  to  him  were  to  be  hindered  by 
any  new  matter  of  complaint  that  might  arise  against  our  coun- 

However,  as  I  said,  I  have  not  positively  settled  whether 
I  go  or  not.  I  am  waiting  to  hear  what  plausible  defence  can 
be  given  as  to  this  reported  seizure  of  the  Rajah's  servant;  and 
for  this  it  is  that  I  want  you  so  much  to  write.  If  you  can  tell 
me  what  I  wish,  I  shall  set  off  without  delay,  embarking  first 
for  Cochin.  But  now  mind  that  I  wish  this  letter,  on  which 
my  decision  depends,  should  not  be  in  your  hand  nor  signed 
with  your  name.  I  remember  that  you  gave  me  to  understand 
that  you  had  some  things  to  tell  me  about  this  business  which 
could  only  be  told  by  word  of  mouth,  when  we  were  together. 
I  can't  help  suspecting  that  there  is  something  at  the  bottom 
about  the  Commandant  himself,  or  the  Portuguese,  or  possibly 
the  native  Christians,  which  it  is  well  I  should  know,  that  I 
may  remedy  the  evil,  and  well  also  that  it  should  not  be  trusted 
to  black  and  white,  for  if  the  letter  were  to  chance  to  be  inter- 
cepted, it  might  put  you  out  with  the  persons  among  whom 
you  live.  I  highly  approve  your  caution,  but,  all  the  same,  as 
just  at  this  moment  we  cannot  meet,  and  as  my  affairs  are  just 
at  that,  turn  when  I  can't  do  without  this  intelligence,  I  have 
made  up  my  mind  that  you  must  let  me  know  about  the  matter, 
whatever  it  is,  by  a  letter  written  by  some  one  else,  and  which, 
if  it  fall  into  any  one's  hands,  may  not  be  brought  home  to 
you  by  your  handwriting  or  your  signature.  This  letter  send 
me  by  some  very  faithful  messenger,  and  then,  having  had  all 
information,  I  shall  decide  whether  it  is  worth  while  for  me  to 
go  to  the  Rajah.  But  I  have  already  determined,  if  this  crime 
by  which  the  Rajah  has  been  insulted  is  clearly  proved,  and  as 
shameful  and  inexcusable  as  report  makes  it,  I  shall  not  go 
there  at  all. 

May  God  our  Lord  always  give  us  His  aid  and  His  grace ! 
Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  September  2,  1544. 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  23 1 

The  caution  used  by  Mancias  as  to  the  information  which 
he  had  to  communicate  concerning  the  outrage  on  the  Travan- 
corese  noble  throws  considerable  light  on  the  conditions  under 
which  the  missionary  enterprize  of  Francis  and  his  associates 
was  carried  on.  They  had  not  only  to  deal  with  the  difficul- 
ties which  consisted  in  the  ignorance,  idleness,  and  voluptuous- 
ness of  the  natives  themselves,  in  their  inveterate  tendency  to 
relapse  into  idolatry  or  superstition,  to  drink  arrack,  or  revolt 
against  the  severity  of  the  Christian  law  of  chastity  and  mono- 
gamy. Nor  did  the  external  dangers  to  their  faith  or  to  their 
Christian  practice  lie  only  in  the  suspicion  with  which  every 
convert,  much  more  every  convert  community,  must  have  been 
regarded  by  the  remainder  of  the  Indians,  and  by  the  Mussul- 
mans and  Jews,  who  were  in  great  numbers  and  very  influen- 
tial in  the  country,  in  the  tyranny  of  their  own  magistrates,  or 
in  the  danger  from  foreign  marauders.  The  Portuguese,  as  we 
have  already  said,  were  the  great  enemies  of  the  converts,  both 
directly,  in  the  outrages  which  they  so  frequently  committed 
upon  them  as  well  as  upon  the  other  inhabitants  of  the  country 
indiscriminately,  and  indirectly  in  the  odium  which  their  out- 
rages excited,  and  which  fell  upon  all  Christians,  and  notably 
upon  these  neophytes  and  their  teachers.  These  last,  as  Francis 
Xavier  seems  to  have  felt,  were  particularly  liable  to  be  made 
responsible  for  the  misdemeanours  of  their  fellow  countrymen, 
as  they  were  undoubtedly  in  many  cases  the  promoters,  at  least 
indirectly,  of  peace  and  alliance  between  the  latter  and  the 
Portuguese,  the  good  faith  of  which  alliance  was  so  frequently 
broken  first  on  the  Christian  side.  Their  position  is  in  some 
degree  like  that  of  the  Catholic  missionaries  of  our  own  time 
in  North  America,  w^ho  often  render  great  services  to  the  Go- 
vernment of  the  United  States  by  prevailing  on  the  Indian 
tribes  under  their  influence  to  accept  terms  of  peace,  which 
imply  great  concessions  on  their  part,  while  all  the  time  the 
Government  is  in  truth  unable  to  control  the  violence  and  wan- 
ton cruelty  of  its  own  settlers  along  the  extreme  frontiers  of 
the  civilized  regions,  whose  barbarities  sometimes  exceed  those 
of  the   unconverted  Indians  themselves,  and  very  naturally 

232  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

place  even  the  lives  of  the  missionaries  in  danger.  Francis 
Xavier  may  not  have  been  exposed  himself  to  this  particular 
peril,  but  we  see  clearly  how  hopeless  he  felt  it  to  be  to  struggle 
on  for  the  free  establishment  of  the  Christian  religion  among 
these  nations,  with  the  enormous  weight  against  him  of  the 
hostility  so  justly  aroused  by  the  wicked  licentiousness  and 
rapine  of  those  Portuguese  who  looked  upon  India  as  a  country 
in  which  their  one  business  was  to  enrich  themselves  and  in- 
dulge their  own  passions  without  regard  to  God  or  man,  and 
who  considered  the  Indians  as  hardly  having  the  common 
rights  of  human  beings  when  they  came  in  the  way  of  their 
own  avarice  or  lust. 

We  have  seen  how  Francis,  in  his  last  letter,  was  sanguine 
enough  to  hope  that  the  Commandant  of  Tuticorin,  Cosmo  de 
Payva,  would  appreciate  the  force  of  the  consideration  he  there 
urged  in  favour  of  peaceable  conduct  to  the  natives.  There 
had  as  yet  been  no  open  breach  between  them,  though  the 
character  of  the  man  and  the  opinion  of  Francis  concerning 
him  are  sufficiently  indicated  in  the  letter  alluded  to.  It 
turned  out,  however,  that  nothing  was  to  be  hoped  for  in  this 
quarter.  We  know  Cosmo  to  have  been  one  of  the  very  worst 
of  the  bad  Portuguese  officers,  of  whom  there  were  but  too 
many  in  India,  who  on  account  of  their  own  interests  and  the 
great  opportunities  which  they  possessed  of  furthering  them  with 
impunity  at  the  expense  of  the  cause  of  religion,  became  in  fact 
more  deadly  enemies  of  the  Gospel  than  the  Badages  them- 
selves. He  may  have  been  led  by  his  own  guilty  conscience 
to  suspect  that  Francis  had  written  to  Goa  to  complain  of  him. 
At  all  events,  he  had  written  to  Francis  before  his  letter  could 
reach  Mancias,  declaring  that  he  would  have  nothing  to  do  with 
his  friendship,  and  loading  him  with  reproaches  and  insults.  It 
is  quite  clear  that  Francis  must  have  crossed  him  unwittingly 
in  some  of  the  measures  he  had  taken  for  the  protection  of  the 
Christians,  or  to  curb  the  aggressive  and  tyrannical  violence 
of  the  Portuguese.  But  the  poor  man  was  soon  an  object  of 
pity  to  all,  as  well  as  to  the  Saint.  It  would  appear  from  one 
of  two  letters  written  only  two  days  after  the  letter  mentioned 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  i7^2> 

above,  that  he  had  in  some  way  played  into  the  hands  of  the 
Badages,  instead  of  protecting  the  Christians,  and  had  thus 
tried  to  purchase  the  friendship  of  the  invaders  for  himself. 
His  reward  was  that  he  shared  the  fate  of  the  Christians  of 
Tuticorin  :  his  ship  was  burnt,  as  well  as  the  building  or  for- 
tress occupied  by  him  on  the  shore,  and  he  was  driven  like  the 
Christians  first  of  Cape  Comorin,  and  then  of  Tuticorin,  to 
take  refuge  on  some  barren  islands  off  the  coast  to  save  his 
life.  Francis  was  eager  to  help  and  save  him.  He  urged 
Mancias  to  get  provisions  on  board  some  boats — water  to 
drink  especially — and  set  off  at  once  to  his  relief,  and  he  wrote 
also  to  the  native  magistrates  along  the  coast  to  do  the  same. 
He  would  go  himself,  he  says,  but  he  has  just  received  the 
letter  in  which  the  Commandant  renounces  his  friendship,  and 
he  would  be  sorry  to  pain  him  at  such  a  time  of  extremity  by 
the  sight  of  one  to  whom  he  could  use  such  language. 

This  calamity,  which  befell  the  Christians  of  Tuticorin,  as 
we  may  suppose,  the  Christian  natives  living  around  that  town, 
and  the  Commandant  himself  also,  gave  occasion  to  the  two 
letters  which  next  follow.  We  put  that  which  relates  to  the 
Christian  natives  first. 

(x XX III.)  7o  Francis  Mancias, 

May  our  Lord  God  always  be  with  you  with  His   aid! 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  am  in  much  anxiety  about  the  Christians  of 
Tuticorin,  who  are  in  the  greatest  possible  misery  with  no  one 
to  care  for  them.  I  beg  and  pray  you,  by  the  love  you  bear  to 
God,  use  the  utmost  diligence  to  find  out  at  once,  and  to  let 
me  know,  the  real  truth  of  the  matter  and  in  what  condition 
they  are.  If  you  think  it  would  be  for  the  service  of  God  to 
go  to  them,  then  go  at  once  with  all  the  boats  you  can  get  at 
Combutur  and  Punical,  and  transport  the  poor  wretched  people 
from  the  barren  isles  where  they  now  are,  partly  to  Combutur, 

234  ^f'  Francis  Xavier, 

partly  to  Punical  and  Trinchandour.  Set  off  at  once,  pray,  and 
ivithout  delay,  go  as  fast  as  possible  with  all  the  tones  that  you 
can  find  at  Punical,  and  send  them  word  at  Combutur  to  fol- 
low you  with  all  theirs. 

I  conjure  you  by  our  Lord  never  let  it  be  that  Beterbemali, 
the  leader  of  these  robber  Badages,  and  all  his  horde  of  plun- 
dering ruffians,  should  have  their  hearts'  desire  fulfilled,  that  the 
remnant  of  this  most  afflicted  people,  who  have  been  driven 
out  of  their  homes  and  country  by  terror  of  them  and  their 
insolence,  should  perish  of  hunger  and  thirst  because  you 
were  slow  in  succouring  them.  Fine  watch  indeed  was  kept 
over  them  by  that  Commandant  of  yours  !  It  would  certainly 
have  been  somewhat  more  reasonable  for  him  to  take  care  of 
the  Christians  committed  to  his  ward  and  charge  than  to  have 
chosen  rather,  as  it  appears  he  did,  to  make  his  own  peace 
by  presents  with  Beterbemali  and  his  bloodthirsty  horsemen, 
who  fly  all  over  the  country,  laying  waste  everything  with  fire 
and  sword !  I  am  writing  to  the  Patangatins  of  Punical  and 
Combutur,  telling  them  to  put  themselves  under  your  lead,  and 
come  at  once  with  all  the  boats  they  have  at  hand  to  the  suc- 
cour of  the  Christians  at  Tuticorin,  who  are  dying  of  hunger 
and  thirst  in  those  arid  islands,  destitute  of  all  the  necessaries 
of  life,  and  to  take  them  away  at  once. 

The  order  I  thus  give  you  to  go  there  is  to  be  understood 
as  depending  on  whether  you  think  that  your  going  is  neces- 
sary to  carry  out  the  business  effectively.  If,  when  you  have 
delivered  my  letter  to  the  Patangatins,  you  see  they  are  zealous 
enough  and  take  up  the  thing  heartily  of  themselves,  that  you 
can  trust  them  to  do  what  is  necessary  with  thorough  vigour 
without  you,  then  by  all  means  stay  where  you  are,  for  I  well 
know  how  much  the  need  of  your  care  on  the  spot  may  make 
you  wish  to  stay  at  your  work.  You  must  therefore  weigh  in 
the  scales  of  charity  and  balance  duly  one  against  the  other 
the  two  claims  on  you,  that  of  the  extreme  distress  of  the  Tuti- 
corinians  on  the  one  hand,  and  that  of  the  good  of  the  people 
amongst  whom  you  are  working  on  the  other,  and  give  the 
preference  to  the  most  urgent.    If  without  your  going  there  the 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore,  235 

death  of  so  many  poor  creatures,  who  are  already  at  their  last 
gasp,  cannot  be  prevented,  then  leave  all  else  and  go  there  as 
fast  as  possible.  Settle  yourself  what  is  best,  I  leave  the  whole 
matter  for  your  judgment  to  decide  on  the  moment.  What 
you  must  provide  for  is  that,  whether  you  go  or  whether  you 
send  some  one  else  in  your  place,  the  boats  go  at  once  to 
these  starving  and  thirsting  wretches,  and  that  they  carry  suf- 
ficient water  and  provisions  to  relieve  as  soon  as  ever  they 
arrive  the  hunger  and  thirst  of  so  many  fellow  creatures  of 
every  age  and  sex,  who  are  dying  on  those  inhospitable  rocks. 
May  God  our  Lord  be  ever  with  you  !  Amen.  Tell  me 
as  soon  as  you  can  whether  Manuel  da  Cruz  and  Matthew 
have  got  the  better  of  the  state  of  grief  in  which  they  were 
when  I  last  saw  them.     Farewell. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


September  5th,  1544. 

It  seems  that  just  after  writing  this  Francis  received  the 
news  that  the  Commandant  himself  was  in  the  same  plight 
with  the  people  whom  he  ought  to  have  protected. 

(xxxiv.)  To  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  have  the  saddest  possible  news  about  the 
Commandant.  His  vessel  has  been  burnt,  and  the  whole  of 
his  residence  on  the  shore  has  also  been  burnt,  and  he  him- 
self, ruined  and  in  want,  has  taken  refuge  in  the  islands,  where 
he  is  in  extreme  want  and  barely  alive.  Go  at  once  to  his  aid, 
I  beseech  you,  for  the  love  of  God.  Get  together  as  quickly 
as  you  can  all  the  barques-  of.  the  Punical  people,  as  many 
as  you  can  find,  and  put  supplies  on  board,  especially  of 
water,  and  go  yourself  to  the  spot.  It  must  be  done  with 
all  despatch :  his  condition  is  as  bad  as  it  can  be,  and  admits 
of  no  delay.  I  am  writing  most  urgently  to  the  Patangatins  to 
aid  you  to  the  utmost  in  this  most  necessary  work  of  assist- 

236  Si.  Francis  Xavier. 

ance  to  the  Commandant.  I  have  told  them  to  load  as  many- 
barques  as  they  can  send  off  with  all  that  can  be  of  use  in 
such  a  case,  specially  water  to  drink,  as  every  one  knows  that 
the  islands  are  entirely  devoid  of  it :  and  I  want  the  barques 
that  are  sent  to  be  as  many  as  possible,  that  there  may  be 
enough  to  bring  back  to  the  land  the  very  large  number  of 
people  of  all  ages  and  sexes  who  have  been  driven  to  take 
refuge  on  those  inhospitable  rocks  by  the  same  storm  which 
has  fallen  on  the  Commandant. 

I  would  go  myself  and  leave  you  quiet  at  Punical,  if  I 
thought  my  presence  would  be  pleasing  to  the  Commandant, 
but  quite  lately  he  renounced  all  friendship  with  me  in  a  letter 
full  of  the  most  atrocious  charges.  Among  other  things  he 
said  that  he  could  not  without  grave  scandal  mention  the  evils 
which  he  felt  that  I  had  brought  on  him.  God  knows  whether 
I  have  ever  done  him  any  harm,  especially  such  as  could  not 
be  mentioned  without  scandal.  But  this  is  no  time  for  defend- 
ing myself  or  making  complaints ;  what  is  of  present  import- 
ance is  that  we  understand  that  in  his  present  state  of  feeling 
towards  me,  I  should  for  his  own  sake  avoid  meeting  him.  The 
poor  man's  calamities  are  abundantly  great  as  they  are,  and  I 
might  add  to  them  some  new  annoyance  if  now  at  the  moment 
of  his  deepest  distress  I  were  to  force  on  him  the  sight  of  one 
whom  he  dislikes  so  much.  It  is  this  fear,  chiefly,  that  pre- 
vents me  from  going  to  him,  though  there  are  many  other 
reasons  against  my  taking  the  journey.  So  do  you,  for  God's 
sake,  do  all  that  I  should  do  myself  with  the  greatest  diligence. 
I  am  writing  to  the  Patangatins  of  Combutur  and  Bembare 
to  get  together  immediately  all  the  boats  they  can  find  every- 
where, load  them  with  food  and  water,  and  sail  at  once  to  the 
Commandant.  And  if  you  wish  to  please  God,  put  your  hand 
to  the  work  with  all  vigour,  and  determine  not  to  allow  your- 
self ever  to  have  the  selfreproach  of  having  left  out  anything 
that  could  be  done  in  the  way  of  the  utmost  exertion  to  relieve 
before  it  is  too  late  the  extreme  distress  of  this  Commandant, 
which  calls  on  us  for  the  greatest  possible  display  of  mercy  and 
charity.     And  of  course  your  care  must  extend  itself  to  the 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  237 

numbers  of  unhappy  Christians  who  have  been  struck  by  the 
same  blows  of  fortune.  The  regard  I  have  for  them  makes  me 
more  urgent,  and  again  and  again  I  pray  you  to  leave  nothing 
undone  to  supply  with  all  haste,  promptly  and  efficiently,  the 
very  urgent  needs  of  so  many  unfortunate  creatures. 
May  our  Lord  be  ever  with  you  !     Amen. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Alendale,  September  5th,  1544. 

It  will  seem  almost  hard  to  believe,  but  the  very  next  letter 
of  St.  Francis,  written  two  days  later  (September  7),  speaks  of 
a  fresh  provocation  given  on  the  part  of  the  Portuguese,  not 
to  the  Rajah  of  Travancore,  who  seems,  as  far  as  we  can  gather, 
not  to  have  resented  the  injury  already  mentioned  to  his  noble, 
but  to  the  terrible  Badages  themselves  in  the  person  of  their 
leader,  Beterbemali.  St.  Francis  had  gone  off,  after  giving 
directions  to  Mancias  and  others  for  the  relief  of  the  Command- 
ant, to  visit  some  Christian  settlements  on  the  western  side  of 
Cape  Comorin,  and  was  proceeding  on  his  road,  when  he  was 
arrested  by  the  news  that  some  Portuguese  had  seized  and 
carried  off  the  brother  in  law  of  Beterbemali  himself.  The  act 
may  perhaps  have  been  one  of  reprisal.  The  Portuguese  were 
generally  safe  enough  in  their  vessels  or  their  fortresses,  though 
the  late  calamity  at  Tuticorin  may  have  warned  them  not  to 
be  too  secure  even  there,  and  they  may  have  had  little  fear  of 
any  revenge  that  the  Badages  might  take.  That  revenge  would 
be  taken  on  the  defenceless  native  population,  who  had  placed 
themselves  in  so  questionable  a  position  in  the  eyes  of  their 
fellow  countrymen  by  becoming  Christians — a  position  which 
gave  them  the  character  of  friends  of  the  foreigner  without 
ensuring  to  them  protection  from  him.  They  were  like  the 
Catholics  in  England  after  the  attempt  of  the  Catholic  King 
to  overthrow  Queen  EUzabeth  had  failed,  save  that  these  had 
more  claim  on  the  forbearance  of  their  countrymen  on  account 
of  their  own  tried  loyalty.  It  was  easy  work  for  the  unscru- 
pulous men  who  formed  these  garrisons  to  commit  outrage 

238  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

upon  outrage,  for  which  the  native  Christians  were  to  pay,  and 
this  abundantly  explains  their  aggressiveness,  and  the  position 
of  St.  Francis  with  regard  to  them.  The  Christian  populations 
were  nothing  to  them  and  all  to  him,  and  he  had  not  only  to 
convert  the  heathen,  form  the  new  converts  into  Christian  com- 
munities, and  then  secure  them  at  least  liberty  and  toleration 
from  their  natural  rulers,  but  also  to  meet  storm  after  storm 
which  swept  over  them  in  consequence  of  the  depredations 
and  outrages  of  the  Portuguese. 

In  the  case  before  us  we  have  a  letter  of  unusual  length,  in 
which  he  explains  to  Mancias  what  steps  he  has  taken.  The 
Badages  had  sworn  vengeance  against  everything  bearing  the 
Christian  name,  but  they  were  pretty  sure  to  confine  their  re- 
venge to  those  Christians  who  were  at  their  mercy.  The  whole 
of  the  Christian  population  of  the  Comorin  coast  was  in  dan- 
ger of  the  fate  which  had  already  befallen  them  once  before, 
and  which  now  was  befalling  the  people  of  Tuticorin.  Coelho, 
the  secular  priest  already  named,  seems  to  have  been  left  in 
Travancore  by  St.  Francis  in  the  course  of  his  preaching  there, 
and  he  is  now  sent  to  protect  the  Christians  on  the  spot,  and 
to  use  the  name  of  Francis  to  pacify  them.  He  hopes  also 
in  future  to  secure  for  the  converts  an  asylum,  not  under  the 
illusory  protection  of  the  Portuguese,  but  in  the  territories  of 
this  heathen  king,  who  had  become  his  friend,  and  who  had 
also  political  reasons  for  hoping  some  advantage  to  himself 
from  the  friendship  of  the  Governor.  We  give  the  letter  in 
question,  which  shows  how  confidently  St.  Francis  could  speak 
of  his  own  influence. 

(xxxv.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

May  it  please  God  to  grant  us  His  most  holy 
grace  !  For  in  this  world  truly  we  have  no  help  but  in  Him 
alone.  I  was  at  Trinchandour  and  on  the  point  of  setting  off 
for  Virandapatanam  to  visit  the  Christians  there,  as  I  had  done 
at  Alendale,  Pudicurim,  and  Trinchandour.    I  had  found  plenty 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  239 

to  do  everywhere,  and  to  convince  me  how  necessary  such  visits 
are.  Well,  as  I  said,  I  was  in  the  act  of  setting  off  again,  when 
a  number  of  messengers  from  all  parts  came  to  tell  me  in  the 
greatest  alarm  that  the  whole  savage  race  of  the  Badages  was 
in  excitement  and  all  but  up  in  arms.  The  cause  of  their  fury 
is  that  the  Portuguese  have  seized  and  taken  prisoner  a  near 
relation  of  Beterbemali,  their  leader,  in  fact  his  wife's  ov/n 
brother.  The  Badages,  exasperated  by  this  affront,  were  all 
vowing  to  exterminate  everything  Christian  throughout  the 
whole  coast  of  Comorin. 

As  soon  as  I  heard  all  this,  I  wrote  at  once  to  Father 
Francis  Coelho  that  immediately  on  receiving  my  letter  he  was 
to  hasten  to  the  place  where  the  Christians  of  Comorin  have 
taken  refuge,  to  protect  as  far  as  may  be  by  my  influence  these 
unfortunate  people,  and  preserve  them  from  the  terrible  dis- 
asters which  threaten  them  on  this  occasion.  I  know  that 
amongst  the  Badages  there  is  a  great  deal  of  talk  about  my 
credit  with  Iniquitribirim,  whom  they  call  their  Rajah,  though 
they  are  far  from  obeying  him  implicitly,  and  indeed  some  of 
them,  who  follow  Beterbemali,  have  openly  shaken  off  his 
authority.  But  the  greater  part  have  still  a  certain  respect  for 
the  Rajah's  name,  so  I  hope  that  Father  Coelho,  as  sent  by  me, 
and  representing,  as  he  does,  me,  may  find  some  respect  paid 
him,  and  be  able  to  protect  these  cruelly  used  people.  I  have 
all  the  more  hope  of  this,  as  I  learn  from  Father  Coelho's 
letter  that  it  is  not  only  the  rebel  Badages  that  are  incensed 
at  the  capture  of  Beterbemali's  brother  in  law,  but  that  the  rest 
of  the  nation  is  being  roused  to  arms  against  the  people  of 
Comorin  by  a  relation  of  Iniquitribirim,  Rajah  of  Travancore, 
who  has  lately  gone  among  them.  Now  with  this  chief  a  re- 
commendation from  me  seemed  likely  to  be  of  some  use  in 
preventing  him  from  using  violence  against  the  Christians,  be- 
cause he  knows  that  I.  am  in  some  sort  of  account  and  honour 
with  his  Rajah.  My  hope  was  strengthened  by  news  which 
Coelho  gives  me  in  the  same  letter,  written  quite  lately,  that 
the  Rajah  of  Travancore  had  sent  three  or  four  of  his  principal 
courtiers  to  see  me,  who  would  have  been  here  already  if  the 

240  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

fatigues  of  the  journey  had  not  made  them  halt  at  Munahpaud 
to  take  some  repose.  They  are  the  bearers  of  a  letter  from  the 
Rajah,  in  which  he  begs  me  not  to  think  it  too  much  trouble 
to  come  to  him,  and  not  to  delay,  for  that  he  has  to  communi- 
cate some  business  of  very  great  moment,  which  it  is  of  much 
importance  both  to  him  and  to  us  that  he  should  talk  over 
W4th  me.  As  far  as  I  can  fathom  the  matter  at  this  distance, 
I  think  I  see  reason  for  supposing  that  the  Rajah  takes  this 
line  because  he  feels  himself  in  much  need  of  the  protection  ot 
the  Governor  of  India.  Current  reports  say  that  the  subordi- 
nate chiefs  who  are  not  loyal  to  him,  the  Pulas  of  whom  we 
have  heard  so  much  in  these  parts,  have  grown  very  powerful 
and  become  very  rich  from  long  prosperity,  so  that  the  Rajah 
has  some  reason  to  fear  that  they  may  make  large  presents  to 
the  Portuguese  Governor,  and  get  him  on  their  side,  so  as  to 
help  them  with  some  troops. 

Knowing  all  this  of  the  state  of  Iniquitribirim's  affairs,  I 
am  the  more  ready  to  believe  the  letter  which  I  have  this 
moment  received  from  him.  In  this  he  promises  me,  in  the 
strongest  and  plainest  terms,  that  he  will  show  all  favour  to 
the  Christians,  whom  he  even  invites  into  his  dominions,  ans- 
wering for  it  that  they  shall  live  in  perfect  security  and  tran- 
quillity. So  I  shall  go  to  him  with  all  speed,  and  intend  to 
leave  this  tonight.  My  chief  motive  is  the  anxiety  which  I 
feel  so  strongly  to  do  something  at  once  for  our  unfortunate 
Christians  who  have  been  driven  out  of  Tuticorin  and  Bembare, 
and  to  secure  for  them  a  fixed  and  safe  place  of  settlement  in 
the  dominions  of  the  Maharajah.  The  first  thing  that  I  shall 
settle  with  Iniquitribirim,  and  with  the  utmost  diligence,  will 
be  to  get  him  to  assign  a  certain  territory  where  these  most 
miserable  exiles  may  dwell  unhurt  and  in  peace. 

Meanwhile  I  wish  you  to  use  every  means  that  occurs  to 
you  with  all  diligence  to  get  them  over  from  the  desert  islands, 
where  they  are  being  killed  by  want,  to  Combutur  and  Puni- 
cal ;  and  see  that  they  are  hospitably  entertained  there  until, 
as  I  said  before,  I  can  provide  for  them.  Remember  to  write 
to  me  fully  and  minutely  about  the  affairs  and  conditions  of 

1  he  Fishery  Coast  arid  Travancore,  241 

the  Christians,  especially  the  Commandant  and  the  Portuguese, 
how  each  one  is,  and  how  their  affairs  get  on.  I  should  like 
you  also,  if  you  can  steal  so  much  of  time  from  your  more 
urgent  occupations,  to  make  an  excursion  to  visit  the  Chris- 
tians at  Combutur,  as  well  as  the  Careans  on  the  Fishery  Coast 
and  those  who  live  in  the  village  where  Thomas  de  Motta  is 
head  of  affairs,  and  lastly,  those  who  live  near  Patanam.  It 
would  delight  me  very  much  if  you  found  leisure  to  visit  them 
all,  for  I  know  the  need  they  have  of  such  lookings  up.  Would 
that  I  had  time  myself  to  go  there  now !  I  should  like  nothing 
better  than  to  inspect  all  those  places  and  make  an  accurate 
visitation  of  them  all. 

I  beg  of  you,  therefore,  do  all  this  for  me,  and  inquire 
particularly  how  the  instruction  of  the  children  is  getting  on 
everywhere,  and  whether  it  is  faithfully  performed.  You  know 
that  in  all  these  places  I  have  established  schoolmasters.  For 
the  salary  which  I  have  promised  them  you  can  take  a  hun- 
dred fanams,  which  is  deposited  for  this  purpose  with  your 
friend  Manuel  da  Cruz,  who  lives  at  Punical.  You  must  spend 
this  sum  in  paying  the  schoolmasters  and  catechists  their 
salary,  each  one  will  tell  you  how  much  I  usually  give  him. 
Don't  think  that  any  money  or  time  can  be  better  employed, 
and  rely  upon  it  you  will  do  a  great  deal  for  the  special  service 
of  God  our  Lord,  if  you  take  pains  and  care  to  have  this  in- 
struction of  the  young,  a  thing  more  necessary  than  any  other, 
assiduously  and  diligently  carried  on.  The  man  who  is  going 
to  your  parts,  and  to  whom  1  have  given  this  letter  for  you, 
appears  very  good,  and  inspired  with  great  desire  to  serve  God. 
Receive  him  kindly,  and  keep  him  with  you  till  I  return  from 
Tniquitribirim ;  or,  if  you  think  it  advantageous  for  the  service 
of  God,  and  if  he  would  like  it  also,  leave  him  at  Combutur, 
he  may  do  what  he  can  in  the  building  of  the  church.  I  hear 
a  report  that  a  certain  barber  is  setting  out  from  where  you 
are.  I  shall  very  likely  meet  him  on  the  road  I  am  going, 
so  pray  write  by  him  a  full  account  of  everything.  I  am  very 
uneasy  as  to  how  things  are,  both  with  the  Portuguese  and 

VOL.  I.  R 

242  5/.  Francis  Xavier, 

May  our  Lord  grant  us  in  the  next  life  more  tranquillity 
and  consolation  than  we  find  in  this  !     Farewell. 

Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Triiichandour,  September  7,  1544. 

In  the  next  letter,  a  few  days  later,  he  speaks  of  other  con- 
cessions which  he  hopes  to  gain. 

(xxxvi.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  could  not  tell  you  if  I  tried  the  heartfelt  joy 
your  letter  gives  me.  It  has  taken  away  that  wearing,  burning 
anxiety  of  heart  which  I  felt  about  the  Commandant  and  the 
others  who,  like  him,  were  driven  from  house  and  home  by 
the  late  storm.  May  God  our  Lord  dwell  with  them  all,  as  1 
pray  that  He  may  be  with  myself! 

On  Tuesday,  about  two  hours  before  daybreak,  I  sent 
Father  Francis  Coelho  to  the  Prince,  the  Rajah  ofTravancore's 
relation,  who  is  now  staying  at  Tala,  about  two  leagues  from 
Munahpaud.  Father  Coelho  was  most  graciously  received  by 
him.  I  sent  him  in  hopes  of  thus  giving  peace  to  all  this  coun- 
try, which  is  now  in  suspense,  disquiet,  fear,  and  indeed  in  per- 
fect consternation  at  the  threatened  inroad  of  the  Badages.  I 
should  like,  before  I  go  away  from  this,  to  leave  these  afflicted 
people,  if  not  at  perfect  peace,  at  least  with  some  truce  to  their 
miseries.  The  Prince  told  Coelho  that  Beterbemali  was  making 
great  haste  to  meet  the  Maharajah  by  sea,  with  the  intention 
of  giving  him  battle.  Another  reason  for  my  sending  Coelho 
was  to  obtain  letters  from  the  Prince  to  the  Adigares,  com- 
manding them  to  allow  the  exportation  of  rice  and  other  useful 
articles  of  food.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  same  Tuesday  I  got 
your  letter,  I  immediately  sent  off  a  safe  person  to  Father 
Coelho,  with  a  letter  which  he  was  to  deliver  from  me  to  the 
Prince.  In  this  letter  I  have  begged  him  to  write  to  the  Adi- 
gares of  your  country  not  to  oppose,  as  they  have  hitherto 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.         243 

done,  the  importation  of  provisions  to  Punical,  nor  to  continue 
to  vex  the  Christians,  but  rather  to  treat  them  with  kindness. 
In  short,  I  am  doing  all  I  can  so  as  to  leave  this  coast  in  some 
sort  of  tranquillity  before  setting  out  on  my  journey  to  Iniqui- 
tribirim.  I  hope  to  return  armed  with  more  effectual  powers 
under  the  royal  authority  itself  to  resist  the  injustice  of  these 

Tomorrow  morning  I  shall  write  to  the  Commandant :  I 
can't  write  now,  for  the  messenger  is  in  such  a  hurry  to  set  off. 
I  am  expecting  Francis  Coelho  tonight.  Tomorrow  morning 
I  shall  send  you  a  farther  letter.  For  the  present  remember 
me  most  kindly  to  Paul  Vaz,  and  tell  Matthew  that  I  am  writ- 
ing to  Manuel  da  Cruz  to  pay  him  the  twelve  fanams  which  he 
asked  me  for  his  father  and  for  that  sister  of  his  who  is  so  poor. 
Francis  Coelho  will  bring  me  news  enough,  enough  to  fill  a 
longer  letter,  as  I  have  promised.  May  our  Lord  be  pleased 
to  bring  us  together  in  His  kingdom  !    Amen. 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  September  loth,  1544. 

The  next  very  short  letter  is  important  as  giving  us  a  clue 
to  the  movements  of  the  writer  after  it  was  sent.  Francis 
had  made  up  his  mind,  it  seems,  to  go  to  the  Rajah,  and  he 
begs  the  prayers  of  the  children  for  the  success  of  his  under- 
taking and  the  safety  of  his  journey. 

(^xxxvii.)  To  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

Antonio  is  ill  in  bed,  and  can  do  nothing  for 
us.  Send  me  immediately  to  Munahpaud  Antonio  the  Parava 
to  act  as  servant  to  us.  Write  to  me,  I  beseech  you,  and  tell 
me  whether  those  poor  afflicted  people  are  well  treated.  My 
anxiety  for  them  accompanies  me  everywhere,  and  leaves  me 
no  rest,  and  the  only  thing  that  comforts  me  is  to  have  from 
time  to  time  news  of  how  they  are  going  on. 

2  4-4  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

As  soon  as  I  get  to  the  Rajah  of  Travancore,  I  will  take 
care  to  have  orders  dispatched  by  him,  and  I  will  send  them  to 
you,  commanding  all  the  Adigares  throughout  the  country  to 
treat  the  Christians  well.  Pray  to  God  for  me,  and  tell  all 
the  children  to  remember  to  commend  me  to  God  in  their 
prayers.  I  have  addressed  a  bill  of  exchange  to  Manuel  da 
Cruz,  on  account  of  which  he  will  give  you  loo  fanams  to  pay 
for  the  instruction  of  the  children.  I  send  it  to  you  with  this 

May  our  Lord  ever  assist  you  with  His  help  and  favour  ! 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Tuticorin,  September  20th,  1544. 

How  exactly  Francis  fared  in  his  journey  to  the  Rajah  of 
Travancore,  we  have  no  precise  information;  but  we  can 
gather  a  good  deal  from  incidental  expressions  in  subsequent 
letters,  as  well  as  from  the  details  afterwards  gathered  on  the 
spot.  We  find  him  not  long  after  this  writing  to  St.  Ignatius 
as  to  the  sort  of  persons  who  are  fitted  to  be  missionaries  in 
the  countries  in  which  he  has  been  labouring ;  and  when  he 
speaks  of  the  strength  and  courage  which  are  required,  he 
mentions  that  there  are  sometimes  occasions  when  life  itself 
has  to  be  risked  in  the  cause  of  God.  We  may  well  under- 
stand that  in  proportion  to  the  hold  which  his  character  and 
miracles  gave  him  upon  the  people  would  be  the  hatred  with 
which  he  was  regarded  by  the  Brahmins  and  the  teachers  of 
the  false  religions  which  he  overthrew.  He  never  made  any 
compromise  with  them,  and  one  of  the  first  steps  which  he 
took  after  baptizing  the  inhabitants  of  a  village  was  to  destroy 
the  idols  and  their  pagodas.  It  is  natural  enough  that  frequent 
attempts  should  have  been  made  on  his  life.  The  cottages 
in  which  he  rested  were  burnt  down,  sometimes  three  or  four 
in  one  day.  Once  he  was  saved,  like  Charles  II.,  in  the  thick 
branches  of  a  tree,  around  the  stem  of  which  his  enemies  were 
seeking  him  to  slay  him.     He  always  had  a  desire  for  martyr- 

The  Fishery  Coast  and  Travancore.  245 

dom,  and  was  almost  reckless  in  exposing  himself  to  danger. 
From  a  letter  of  the  next  year  to  Mancias  we  find  that  the 
Rajah  had  given  him  a  sum  of  money  for  the  purpose  of  build- 
ing  churches  for  the  converts,  and  from  this  we  may  conjec- 
ture that  a  considerable  part  of  the  concessions  which  Francis 
desired  to  obtain  from  him  was  granted  on  occasion  of  this 
visit.  It  is  certain  that  religion  took  deep  root  and  flourished 
in  Travancore  from  this  time. 


Manaar,  Jafanapatam^  and  Meliapor, 

We  have  already  mentioned  the  little  island  of  Manaar,  which 
gives  its  name  to  the  gulf  between  Ceylon  and  the  Fishery 
Coast,  in  which  the  pearl  fishery,  of  which  we  have  heard  so 
much,  was  carried  on.  Manaar  lies  a  little  off  the  northwestern 
coast  of  Ceylon,  separated  from  the  larger  island  by  a  narrow 
but  deep  and  turbulent  channel,  the  remaining  and  far  larger 
width  of  the  belt  of  sea  which  lies  between  the  continent  of 
India  and  the  two  islands  being  at  that  point  crossed  by  the 
remarkable  ridge  of  shoals  which  goes  by  the  name  of  Adam's 
Bridge,  which  almost  connects  Manaar  with  the  island  of  Rame- 
serum  lying  just  off  the  mainland.  Manaar  is  described  as  a 
sandy  and  not  very  fertile  island,  with  one  good  port  and  a 
considerable  traffic.  It  was  greatly  inferior  in  all  material  and 
natural  richness  to  its  beautiful  neighbour  Ceylon,  called  by 
its  own  inhabitants  the  Land  of  Delights,  and  traditionally  re- 
garded as  the  site  of  the  terrestrial  Paradise.  Manaar  was  sub- 
ject to  one  of  the  several  small  kingdoms  into  which  Ceylon 
was  divided — that  of  Jafanapatam.  We  are  not  told  precisely  at 
what  point  of  the  preaching  of  St.  Francis  on  the  Fishery  Coast 
and  in  Travancore  it  was  that  the  inhabitants  of  this  little  island 
sent  to  request  him  to  come  to  instruct  and  baptize  them,  nor 
do  we  know  whether,  in  their  case  as  in  the  case  of  the  Pa- 
ravas,  there  were  any  motives  of  policy  to  help  in  inclining 
them  to  desire  to  receive  the  faith.  They  proved  the  sincerity 
of  their  conversion,  after  it  had  taken  place,  in  the  noblest 
manner.  Francis  wished  himself  to  go  in  answer  to  the  in- 
vitation, but  the  affairs  of  the  Travancore  mission  were  then 
at  a  critical  point,  and  he  had  also  to  provide  for  the  protec- 
tion of  the  Christians  of  the  Fisheries.  He  sent  therefore,  in 
his  place,  one  of  the  secular  priests  who  had  accompanied  him 

Persecution  in  Manaar,  247 

from  Goa,  and  in  a  short  time  received  the  news  of  the  instruc- 
tion and  baptism  of  a  considerable  number  of  the  Manarese. 

The  position  of  the  Portuguese  in  India  was  at  that  time 
such  that  it  was  quite  natural  for  any  of  the  native  princes, 
either  on  the  mainland  or  in  Ceylon,  to  look  upon  the  con- 
version of  their  subjects  in  any  numbers  as  an  act  of  danger- 
ous rebellion  on  their  part,  and  as  involving  further  aggression 
and  a  further  advance  in  power  on  that  of  the  formidable 
strangers  from  Europe.  The  Rajah  of  Jafanapatam  immedi- 
ately took  the  alarm,  and  treated  the  Manarese  with  the  ut- 
most severity.  He  was  a  bigoted  heathen,  hating  everything 
Christian,  all  the  more  because  he  was  obliged  from  motives 
of  fear  to  pretend  to  be  a  friend  to  the  Portuguese.  The  in- 
sular position  of  Manaar  might  make  it  very  easy  for  the  Portu- 
guese to  seize  it  under  the  pretext  of  protecting  the  new  con- 
verts. Moreover,  the  Rajah  was  an  usurper,  and  his  elder 
brother,  whom  he  had  dethroned,  was  still  alive.  All  these 
motives  for  fear  made  him  act  at  once,  and  endeavour  to  tread 
out  the  new  faith  before  it  had  made  further  progress.  A  con- 
siderable force  was  sent  into  the  island,  and  the  new  Chris- 
tians, after  having  been  commanded  and  having  refused  to 
renounce  their  religion,  were  put  to  death.  The  number  of 
men,  women,  and  children  who  thus  suffered  is  given  as  six 

Some  writers  continue  the  story  of  the  persecution  in  Ma- 
naar by  connecting  it  with  the  conversion  of  a  young  prince 
of  one  of  the  kingdoms  of  Ceylon  which  happened  at  this  time, 
but  which  appears  more  likely  to  have  taken  place  at  Candy 
than  at  Jafanapatam.^     It  is  characteristic  of  the  times  and  of 

^  Bartoli,  who  is  followed  by  Massei  and  others,  tells  us  that  this  prince  was 
the  eldest  son  of  the  Rajah  of  Jafanapatam  himself.  This  is  hardly  consistent 
with  the  way  in  which  Francis  Xavier  speaks  of  him  in  a  letter  which  will  fol- 
low soon.  Lucena,  a  very  careful  and  sagacious  writer,  thinks  it  must  have 
been  the  Prince  of  Candy,  as  Donjoam  de  Castro  afterwards  put  that  kingdom, 
as  well  as  that  of  Jafanapatam,  into  the  hands  of  a  fugitive  prince  who  had 
come  to  Goa,  and  been  made  a  Christian.  This  would  just  suit  the  case  of  the 
cousin  of  the  youth  of  whom  we  are  now  speaking.  See  Lucena,  Vida  de  S. 
Francisco  de  Xavier,  liv.  ii.  c.  19. 

248  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

the  Portuguese  character  that  we  should  find  that  it  was  not 
unfrequent  for  the  merchants  who  traded  at  the  various  heathen 
ports  in  the  East  to  take  on  themselves  the  part  of  missionaries 
of  the  Gospel,  enlarging  on  the  beauty  and  blessings  of  the 
Christian  faith  to  those  with  whom  they  dealt.  One  of  these 
merchants  had  come  to  be  received  with  great  favour  at  j;he 
Court  of  Candy,  and  had  made  so  much  way  with  the  eldest  son 
of  the  Rajah  as  to  persuade  him  to  receive  instruction  as  a  pre- 
paration for  baptism.  The  Rajah  heard  of  it,  and  the  youth  was 
at  once  put  to  death  by  his  order.^  His  body  was  left  naked 
and  exposed  on  the  ground ;  but  the  Christian  merchant  buried 
it  in  the  night.  In  the  morning  the  earth  was  found  to  have 
opened  itself  over  the  corpse  in  the  shape  of  a  wellformed 
cross,  and  this  prodigy  was  repeated  in  spite  of  the  efforts  of 
the  heathen  to  fill  up  the  cross  again  and  again.  Moreover,  a 
cross  of  red  light  was  seen  by  multitudes  in  the  air  over  the 
grave  :  a  great  number  of  converts  were  made,  many  of  whom 
were  put  to  death,  others  flying  the  country  to  escape  the  fury 
of  the  Rajah.  Among  these  fugitives  were  two  young  princes, 
the  brother  and  the  cousin  of  the  youth  who  had  been  martyred.^ 
The  mother  of  one  of  these  princes,  the  aunt  of  the  other,  ap- 
pears to  have  connived  at  their  conversion,  and  she  sent  them 
secretly  out  of  the  country  to  preserve  their  lives.  They  were 
placed  under  the  protection  of  the  Portuguese,  and  came  to 
Francis  in  Travancore  on  their  way  to  Goa.  At  the  same  time 
the  brother  of  the  Rajah  of  Jafanapatam,  already  mentioned, 
seems  to  have  found  fresh  reason  for  feeling  himself  unsafe 
while  within  reach  of  his  brother.  He  made  his  way  with  some 
adherents  to  Negapatam,  a  port  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  Indian 
peninsula,  at  the  very  southern  extremity  of  the  long  sweep  of 
coast  which  forms  the  shore  of  the  great  bay  of  Bengal.  From 
Negapatam  he  passed  overland  to  Goa,  where  he  placed  him- 

2  Lucena  speaks  of  him  as  baptized  in  his  own  blood. 

3  The  historians  tell  us  that  the  latter  of  the  two  was  the  heir  to  the  throne, 
it  being  the  custom  in  India  for  the  Rajahs  to  be  succeeded  by  the  children  of 
their  sisters,  rather  than  by  their  own,  real  or  supposed,  it  being  thought  that 
the  royal  line  was  more  certainly  secured  in  that  way. 

Persecution  in  Manaar.  249 

self  under  instruction,  undertaking,  if  his  kingdom  were,  restored 
to  him,  to  make  it  Christian  as  well  as  tributary  to  the  Portu- 
guese crown. 

All  these  affairs,  of  which  St.  Francis  speaks  summarily  in 
one  of  the  letters  which  we  shall  have  presently  to  insert, 
turned  his  thoughts  at  this  time  to  a  journey  and  voyage  north- 
wards, that  he  might  confer  concerning  them  with  the  Governor 
of  India,  who,  if  he  did  not  need  any  one  to  urge  him  to  punish 
the  Rajah  of  Jafanapatamfor  his  cruelty  to  the  new  Christians, 
might  perhaps  require  advice  and  influence  that  might  induce 
him  not  to  carry  matters  too  far  or  with  too  high  a  hand.*  We 
see  also  in  the  letters  some  hint  of  arrangements  to  be  made 
with  him  on  the  part  of  the  Rajah  of  Travancore.  The  two 
following  letters  of  the  series  which  Mancias  has  preserved  to 
us  speak  of  the  intention  of  Francis  Xavier  to  go  and  see  the 
Governor.  He  seems  to  have  supposed  that  Sousa  might  be 
at  Cochin,  though  it  turned  out  that  he  had  sailed  as  far  to  the 
north  beyond  Goa  itself  as  Cambaia.  The  considerable  inter- 
val which  separates  the  letters  at  this  point  may  be  accounted 
for  either  by  the  absence  of  Francis  in  Travancore,  from  which 
country  he  never  seems  to  have  written,  or  by  the  certain  fact 
that  at  some  period  of  the  later  autumn  Mancias  was  his  com- 
panion in  an  expedition  to  Ceylon  itself,  of  the  circumstances 
of  which  we  have  no  details. 

The  two  following  letters  were  written,  as  it  seems,  at  the 
same  date,  and  in  fact  are  very  similar  in  their  contents.  It 
has  been  thought  that  they  are  but  different  forms  of  the  same 
letter  ;  but  as  each  contains  much  that  is  wanting  in  the  other, 
it  is  well  to  print  them  both,  especially  as  the  latter  gives  us 
an  insight,  not  very  clear,  it  is  true,  into  another  of  the  troubles 
which  beset  the  native  Christians  at  this  time.  The  earlier 
paragraphs  of  the  first  letter  are  almost  a  repetition  of  former 
admonitions  given  to  Mancias,  to  urge  on  him  the  forbear- 
ance and  patience  necessary  for  his  arduous  duties  among  the 

■*  Francis  says  in  his  letter  on  the  subject  that  he  had  to  exert  himself  to 
prevent  the  Governor  from  taking  too  severe  a  revenge.    See  below,  p.  282. 

25©  Sf'  Francis  Xavier, 

(xxxviii.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

I  beg  and  entreat  you  most  earnestly,  my  dearest  brother, 
to  show  the  people  you  are  with,  and  especially  the  grown-up 
men  and  old  men,  very  great  kindness  and  charity,  and  to  aim 
at  making  yourself  beloved  by  them  in  return.  Be  quite  sure 
that  if  you  are  beloved  by  them,  you  will  be  able  to  turn  their 
hearts  whatever  way  you  wish.  So  bear  with  moderation  and 
wisdom  all  their  weaknesses  and  infirmities,  and  say  to  yourself 
that  if  they  are  not  yet  all  that  you  desire,  in  time  at  least 
they  will  become  so.  If  you  cannot  get  out  of  them  all  the 
good  you  ask,  take  what  you  can  get.  You  know  this  is  my 
way.  You  should  make  up  your  mind  to  be  to  them  what  a 
good  father  is  to  bad  children,  and  never  give  up  caring  and 
providing  for  them,  though  you  see  them  all  the  time  covered 
with  many  vices.  God  Himself,  though  often  offended  by  them 
and  by  us,  does  not  cease  to  heap  His  benefits  upon  us.  He 
might  most  justly  destroy  us,  but  in  His  mercy  He  very  often 
seems  blind  to  our  sins,  and  helps  us  in  our  difficulties,  that  He 
may  overcome  evil  by  good.^  And  so  you,  if  you  cannot  do  all 
you  wish,  be  glad  to  do  what  you  can,  since  it  is  not  your  fault 
that  all  the  progress  which  you  might  desire  has  not  been  made. 
If  you  sometimes  find  yourself  so  distracted  by  a  number  of 
duties  that  you  cannot  manage  them  all,  do  as  much  as  you 
can  and  be  content  with  that,  and  even  give  thanks  to  God  for 
the  particular  blessing  that  He  has  led  you  to  work  in  a  place 
where  there  are  so  many  sacred  duties  to  be  performed  that  you 
cannot  be  idle,  however  much  you  might  wish  it,  for  this  is  in 
truth  one  of  the  greatest  blessings  that  God  bestows.  Imagine 
yourself  in  Purgatory,  making  satisfaction  for  your  sins ;  you 
will  think  yourself  very  happily  dealt  with  in  that  God  gives  you 
the  troubles  of  this  life  instead  of  the  torments  of  the  fires  of 
Purgatory.  But  if,  perchance,  men  turn  out  so  wicked  that  you 
can  do  nothing  widi  them  by  gentleness,  then  sometimes  use 

^  lit  vincat  in  bono  malum.  (Orig.) 

Persecution  in  Manaar,  25  i 

severity ;  for,  after  all,  it  is  a  work  of  mercy  to  correct  those 
who  are  wrong,  and  be  sure  that  it  is  a  great  sin  not  to  chas- 
tise sinners,  especially  when  they  cause  scandal  to  others. 

Nevertheless,  I  do  not  think  you  should  give  these  people 
up  now  that  they  are  in  so  much  trouble,  or  indeed  ever.  At 
this  time  more  than  ever  you  must  bid  the  children  whom  you 
have  under  instruction  to  ask  of  God  to  defend  and  help  us, 
for  in  these  countries  we  have  no  protection  at  all,  except  the 
protection  of  God.  For  if  that  saying  of  Him  Who  is  the 
Truth  be  true — '  He  who  is  not  with  Me  is  against  Me'^ — 
any  one  can  see  how  destitute  we  are  of  all  human  aid  when 
we  have  so  few  who  are  with  us  to  convert  these  people  to  the 
faith  of  Jesus  Christ.  But  we  must  not  lose  heart :  God  will 
reward  every  one  according  to  his  merits ;  He  can  bring  about 
wonders  however  great  by  means  of  a  few,  as  well  as  by  means 
of  many.  I  am  much  more  inclined  to  grieve  for  the  lot  of 
those  who  are  against  God,  than  to  call  down  punishment  upon 
them.  God  Himself,  of  His  own  accord,  will  take  terrible  ven- 
geance by  and  by  on  His  enemies,  as  we  see  plainly  enough 
in  the  case  of  those  who  are  undergoing  the  eternal  pains  and 
punishments  of  hell. 

I  am  going  to  Travancore  to  meet  the  Governor.  I  shall 
go  by  land,  at  least  as  far  as  Cape  Comorin,  and  visit  the 
Christian  villages  as  I  go,  and  baptize  the  infants.  I  want  you 
to  pray  much  to  God  for  me,  and  to  get  the  young  children 
you  are  instructing  in  the  Christian  doctrine  to  pray  also. 
Their  prayers  will  be  a  defence  and  guard  to  me,  with  which 
I  shall  make  light  of  the  dangers  with  which  my  friends  try  to 
deter  me  from  this  land  journey;  telling  me  that  I  shall  have  to 
pass  through  a  country  that  hates  everything  Christian,  and 
me  in  particular.  But  I  tell  you  plainly,  I  am  sometimes  weary 
of  my  life,  and  think  I  had  better  rather  die  for  religion  than 
live  in  the  sight  of  so  many  and  such  grievous  outrages  upon 
the  mrijesty  of  God,  especially  when  I  cannot  help  seeing  them 
and  yet  cannot  prevent  them.    Rather  than  see  and  hear  them, 

^  Qui  non  est  mecum  contra  me  est.  (Orig.) 

252  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

I  would  go  to  Ethiopia  or  into  the  dominions  of  Prester  John, 
where  one  might  work  very  hard  and  well  for  God  with  no  one 
to  oppose.  Nothing  gives  me  so  much  pain  as  to  have  been 
wanting  in  sharp  resistance  to  those  whom  I  see  outraging  His 
Heavenly  Majesty.  May  God  in  His  infinite  goodness  be 
pleased  to  forgive  them  ;  and  I  pray  and  beseech  Him  to  abide 
with  you  always  and  to  accompany  my  steps  !  Farewell. 
Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Munahpaud,  November  8th,  1544. 

The  first  part  of  the  next  letter  is  full  of  references  to  mat- 
ters with  which  we  can  only  be  imperfectly  acquainted.  It 
seems  that  the  Governor  Sousa  had  sent  a  Portuguese  officer, 
a  relation  of  his  own,  to  treat  with  the  Pulas  or  subordinate 
princes  or  nobles  of  Travancore,  who,  as  the  reader  may  re- 
member, are  mentioned  in  a  former  letter  as  not  unlikely  to 
attempt  to  negotiate  on  their  own  part  with  the  Portuguese, 
with  a  view  of  rendering  themselves  independent  of  the  king 
of  their  country.  The  negotiation  would  seem  to  have  failed, 
and  the  officer  was  displeased  with  the  Pulas.  The  second 
paragraph  relates  to  some  tyrannical  proceedings  at  Tuticorin, 
of  which  we  have  no  other  account.  It  would  almost  seem  as 
if  some  sort  of  legal  persecution  had  been  raised  against  the 
Christian  converts  on  the  part  of  powerful  heathen  or  Mussul- 
mans, who  had  been  supported  by  the  Portuguese  authorities, 
turned  the  Christians  out  of  their  homes,  and  found  others 
more  pliant,  who  occupied  them  on  some  terms  derogatory  to 
their  religion.  This  at  least  is  what  we  gather  from  the  lan- 
guage of  the  letter,  which  orders  that  the  new  tenants  shall  not 
be  permitted  to  take  part  in  the  pearl  fishery,  and  adds  a  severe 
reprimand  and  warning  to  a  certain  Nicolas  Barbosa,  who  was 
probably  a  Portuguese  who  farmed  some  crown  rights,  or  em- 
ployed the  divers  on  his  own  account. 

Persecution  in  Manaar.  253 

(  XXX IX.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

I  had  arrived  at  Munahpaud,  and  was  on  the  point 
of  going  to  meet  Alexis  de  Sousa  when  two  Nairs^  met  me, 
bringing  me  a  letter  from  a  Portuguese,  in  which  he  informed 
me  that  urgent  affairs  detained  him  at  Bearim,  that  he  had  for 
me  a  letter  from  the  King's  Treasurer,  and  other  commissions 
which  he  was  charged  with  for  me,  but  that  he  could  only  give 
them  to  me  or  explain  them  to  me  in  person.  He  could  only 
tell  me  that  his  commissions  were  such  as  to  make  it  necessary 
for  me  to  see  Iniquitribirim  again.  Alexis  de  Sousa  has  gone 
to  Coulan.  It  is  said  he  went  away  very  much  irritated  against 
the  Pulas.  Whether  this  is  an  unfounded  report  I  cannot  as 
yet  well  make  out.  I  am  now  going  hence  by  land  from  the 
Cape,  to  visit  as  I  pass  the  Christian  villages  which  lie  on  my 
way,  and  to  baptize  the  newborn  infants  and  any  adults  that 
I  find  sufficiently  disposed. 

I  wish  that  next  Monday,  unless  you  prefer  another  day 
(which  I  leave  to  your  discretion),  you  would  visit  the  Chris- 
tians who  have  been  expelled  from  Tuticorin,  and  as  in  the 
new  and  temporary  dwellings  where  they  now  are  they  have 
no  place  to  meet  in,  collect  them  outside  the  enclosure  of 
their  huts  in  the  open  field,  and  then  give  them  instructions 
and  administer  the  sacraments.  I  beg  of  you  strictly  to  charge 
Nicolas  Barbosa  not  to  summon  to  the  pearl  fishery  any  of  the 
people  at  Tuticorin  who  have  established  themselves  in  the 
dwellings  of  those  who  are  now  in  exile.  The  King  and  the 
Governor  have  given  me  a  certain  authority  in  this  matter,  and 
I  will  not  have  it  that  Christians  in  revolt  and  rebellion,  or  to 
call  things  by  the  right  name,  apostates,  should  partake  in  the 
fruits  of  the  sea  which  belongs  to  us.  It  may  be  allowed  to 
the  people  of  Punical ;  and  if  any  of  them  are  disposed  to  go 
and  dive  ofi"  the  isles  of  Tuticorin  to  bring  up  the  mother  of 

7  The  Nairs  were  a  high  caste,  the  members  of  which  generally  embraced 
the  profession  of  arms.  L^on  Pages. 

254  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

pearl  shells  from  the  bottom  of  the  sea,  they  have  my  leave. 
So  Barbosa  may  employ  them  to  work  for  his  profit.  If  he  show 
himself  inclined  to  resist  this,  give  him  a  stern  admonition  from 
me, — that  he  had  better  take  very  great  care  on  his  own 
account  not  to  be  guilty  of  any  fresh  fault,  for  he  has  committed 
a  very  great  number  of  transgressions  in  times  past,  of  which 
many  are  quite  as  mindful  as  himself. 

I  rely  much,  for  the  aid  of  God  to  help  me  in  the  hazards 
of  my  journey  and  in  the  doubtful  issue  of  the  affairs  I  have 
to  manage,  on  your  prayers  for  me  and  those  of  the  children 
where  you  are,  and  I  beg  of  you  not  to  let  my  request  for  them 
be  in  vain.  They  will  be  an  assistance  and  a  shield  to  me, 
and  I  shall  go  with  head  erect  and  heart  undaunted  to  con- 
front all  the  terrors  which  the  Christians  vie  with  one  another 
to  frighten  me  with,  insisting  on  it  that  for  me  to  undertake  a 
journey  by  land  through  those  countries  is  to  run  into  almost 
certain  destruction,  because  they  think  that  the  barbarous  tribes 
who  inhabit  them  will  certainly  pour  forth  all  their  burning 
hatred  for  our  holy  religion  on  my  head  as  on  its  principal 
support.  But,  to  tell  you  the  inmost  thoughts  of  my  heart,  I 
am  so  weary  of  my  life  that  the  very  thing  which  they  make  an 
objection  of  in  order  to  frighten  me  from  the  journey  is  an 
attraction  to  me  the  other  way ;  I  really  think  it  a  thousand 
times  better  for  me  to  be  killed  out  of  hatred  to  our  holy  faith 
than  to  live  on  and  witness  so  many  sins  against  God,  com- 
mitted every  day  under  our  very  eyes,  which  we  try  to  prevent 
and  cannot.  It  is  the  real  truth  ;  nothing  in  myself  has  dis- 
appointed me  more  than  that.  I  have  been  unable  to  oppose 
the  men  who — you  know  whom  I  mean — who  are  guilty  of 
offences  so  enormous  against  God.  May  our  Lord  help  and 
favour  you  for  ever  !     Amen. 

From  Munahpaud,  November  loth,  1544. 

I  am  just  starting  for  Pudicar.     Father  Francis  Coelho  is 
going  to  visit  the  Christians  who  are  at  Atanapatanam. 
Your  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


Affair  of  yafanapatam,  255 

After  this  letter  we  hear  no  more  of  Francis  Xavier  till  the 
middle  of  the  following  month  of  December,  when  he  arrived 
at  Cochin.  He  had  thus  spent  more  than  a  month  on  his  road, 
and  had  no  doubt  lingered  in  many  places  for  the  sake  of  in- 
structing and  baptizing  converts.  What  dangers  he  may  have 
run  during  this  month  we  cannot  tell,  but  we  may  be  sure  that 
it  was  a  time  of  great  consolation  to  him,  as  he  found  himself 
alone  and  far  from  all  his  usual  annoyances,  preaching  to  the 
fishers  scattered  along  the  coast  of  Travancore.  On  arriving  at 
Cochin  he  found  that  the  Governor  was  not  there,  but,  as  has 
been  said,  far  to  the  north  at  Cambaia.  But  a  very  dear  friend 
met  him  at  Cochin;  no  other  than  Miguel  Vaz,  the  vicar  of  the 
Bishop  of  Goa,  who  had  been  the  first  to  suggest  to  him  to  un- 
dertake the  instruction  ofthe  Paravas,  and  who  could  thoroughly 
sympathize  with  all  his  desires,  and  all  the  anxieties  regarding 
the  position  ofthe  native  converts  in  India.  The  conversations 
which  they  had  together  ended  in  important  steps  for  the  bene- 
fit of  the  Indian  Christians,  of  which  we  shall  presently  speak. 
But  another  great  pleasure  was  awaiting  him  at  Cochin.  That 
year's  ships  from  Portugal  had  arrived  at  Goa  in  time  for  the 
letters,  and  the  news  which  they  brought,  to  be  sent  on  to 
Cochin  before  he  reached  it,  and  he  was  thus  greeted  with 
many  pieces  of  happy  intelligence,  as  well  as  with  a  bundle  of 
correspondence  which  filled  his  affectionate  heart  with  joyous 
and  tender  thoughts  of  the  friends  who  had  sent  it. 

Miguel  Vaz,  as  has  been  said,  was  entirely  ofthe  same 
mind  with  Francis  Xavier  as  to  the  miserable  influence  on  the 
native  Christians  of  the  example  and  conduct  of  the  Por- 
tuguese, and  as  to  the  many  abuses  which  needed  severe  and 
immediate  correction  at  the  hands  ofthe  government  at  home. 
Some  of  the  more  crying  evils  in  the  state  of  things  at 
Goa  itself  had  been  corrected  by  the  preaching  of  St. 
Francis ;  at  least,  many  Portuguese  had  given  up  their  prac- 
tice of  concubinage ;  the  neglect  of  the  sacraments,  which  in 
men  who  led  such  lives  as  the  majority  of  the  Europeans 
had  been  looked  upon  as  the  only  mark  left  in  them  of  the 
fear  of  God,  had  ceased  j  and  the  diminution  of  scandalous  vice 

256  St,  Francis  Xavien 

had  probably  occasioned  a  proportionate  falling  off  in  the 
quarrels  and  assassinations  which  naturally  resulted  from 
the  general  licentiousness  of  manners.^  There  were  still 
remaining  other  great  scandals,  which  had  more  particular 
reference  to  the  honour  due  to  religion,  and  the  support  which 
the  true  faith  ought  to  receive  from  a  Christian  government. 
The  first  of  these  scandals  was  the  open  toleration  of  idolatrous 
worship,  even  in  Goa,  while  in  the  towns  around  it  there  was 
no  attempt  made  to  check  either  idolatry  or  the  superstitious 
customs  and  immoralities  with  which  it  was  connected.  Then 
again,  the  public  offices  under  the  Crown  were  sold,  and  Mus- 
sulmans frequently  allowed  to  hold  them,  while  the  native 
Christians,  on  account  of  their  poverty,  were  excluded.  The 
Paravas  on  the  pearl  coast,  who  had  to  pay  a  certain  royalty 
to  the  Crown  out  of  their  gains,  were  thus  brought  under  the 
power  of  officials,  often  Mussulmans,  who  forced  them  to  sell 
their  pearls  at  so  low  a  price  as  to  render  the  transaction  a 
simple  robbery.  Christian  converts,  also,  were  frequently  sold 
as  slaves  to  Mussulmans  or  heathens.  At  Cochin  itself,  the 
second  city  in  Portuguese  India,  and  entirely  at  the  command 
of  the  Christian  government,  the  native  Rajah  was  in  the  habit 
of  confiscating  the  property  of  any  of  his  subjects  who  became 
Christians,  and  this  abuse  was  allowed  to  go  on  without  even 
a  remonstrance.  As  the  two  friends  talked  over  these  scan- 
dals and  bewailed  their  evil  influence  on  the  souls  for  which  both 
were  so  anxious,  Miguel  Vaz  offered  of  his  own  accord  to  go  to 
Portugal  and  lay  them  in  person  before  the  King.  The  abuses 
in  themselves  were  not  beyond  the  reach  of  cure,  though  it  is 
likely  enough  that  neither  Martin  Alfonso  Sousa,  nor  any  other 
Governor,  could  have  dealt  with  them  satisfactorily  single- 
handed.    But  they  implied  a  state  of  things  which  nothing  but 

8  Bartoli,  Asia,  t.  i.  p.  43,  enumerates  among  the  abuses  prevalent  in  Goa 
before  the  arrival  of  Francis  Xavier,  the  practice  of  the  Portuguese  of  the  pur- 
chase or  seizure  of  slave  girls  who  were  made  to  carry  on  the  most  infamous 
traffic  and  pay  their  masters  a  certain  sum  out  of  their  earnings,  and  the  selling 
of  justice  in  the  courts  to  the  highest  bidder.  The  mention  of  these  abuses 
illustrates  some  of  the  letters  which  we  have  lately  given,  in  which  similar  prac- 
tices on  tlie  part  of  the  Portuguese  on  the  Fishery  Coast  are  alluded  to. 

Affair  of  yafanapatam,  -i^y 

a  very  radical  change  in  the  whole  Portuguese  population  in 
India  could  have  set  right.  They  were  exposed  to  unusual 
temptations,  and  a  higher  standard  of  public  morality  would 
have  cut  the  evil  at  its  root.  The  government  might  certainly 
do  something  by  precepts  and  injunctions,  but  who  was  there 
to  carry  them  out  and  insure  their  general  observance?  St. 
Francis,  as  we  shall  see,  hit  upon  the  best  possible  expedient 
when  he  proposed  to  the  King  to  send  out  an  independent 
minister  with  full  authority,  whose  one  business  it  should  be 
to  protect  the  interests  of  religion ;  but  it  may  be  questioned 
whether  if  such  an  official  had  been  appointed,  he  might  not 
have  been  himself  carried  away  by  the  current  of  corruption  all 
around  him,  or  at  least  have  been  intimidated  by  the  union  of 
influences  of  all  kinds  which  would  have  joined  to  resist  him  in 
the  execution  of  his  duty.  However,  Miguel  Vaz  and  Francis 
Xavier  did  their  best  for  India  when  they  resolved  that  one  of 
them  should  go  in  person  to  plead  the  cause  of  religion  with 
the  King. 

The  letters  from  Europe  which  Francis  found  at  Cochin 
were  full  of  interesting  news.  The  Society  was  flourishing  and 
increasing :  the  limitation  at  first  imposed  by  the  Pope  as  to 
the  number  of  the  professed  Fathers,  who  were  not  to  exceed 
sixty,  had  been  taken  away;  many  pious  works,  which  remain  to 
the  present  day,  had  been  started  by  Ignatius  in  Rome,  and 
progress  had  been  made  towards  the  building  and  completion 
of  the  permanent  house  of  the  Society,  which  is  now  the  Gesu, 
close  to  the  little  church  of  Sta.  Maria  a  Strata.  Peter  Favre 
and  Bobadilla  were  active  in  Germany  and  in  the  Low  Coun- 
tries, Laynez  had  done  much  in  Venice,  and  Salmeron  in 
Modena.  Many  distinguished  recruits  had  joined  the  Order — 
among  others,  the  pure,  brilliant,  and  candid  youth  who  was 
afterwards  known  as  Peter  Canisius.  Perhaps  the  brightest  part 
of  the  news,  at  least  to  St.  Francis,  was  the  great  advance  of  the 
Society  in  Portugal,  where  the  College  at  Coimbra  was  being 
built  by  the  King,  the  establishment  being  already  at  work  in  a 
temporary  dwelling,  where  there  were  as  many  as  sixty  students 
of  the  Society.     All  this  gave  good  hope  for  the  future  of  the 

VOL.  I.  s 

258  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

Indian  mission,  and  the  heart  of  its  great  Apostle  was  swelling 
with  thankfulness  and  hope  when  he  wrote  from  Cochin,  almost 
immediately  after  his  arrival,  to  Mancias,  telling  him  that  he 
was  to  be  ordained  priest,  and  to  take  charge  at  once  of  the 
mission  of  Travancore.  Francis  himself  was  to  set  sail  at  once 
for  Cambaia,  to  arrange  with  the  Governor  about  the  affair  of 

(xL.)   To  Francis  Mancias, 

My  dearest  Brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 

The  day  before  yesterday,  the  i6th  of  December, 
I  arrived  at  Cochin.  Before  I  got  there  I  had  baptized  all  I 
could  reach  of  the  Matchuas,9  a  race  of  fishermen  who  live  in 
the  kingdom  of  Travancore.  God,  Who  sees  our  inmost  heart, 
knows  how  gladly  I  would  have  returned  thither  at  once  to 
baptize  the  people  of  another  tribe  which  lives  there,  who  are 
not  ill  disposed  to  embrace  the  yoke  of  Jesus  Christ.  But  the 
Vicar-general,  Don  Miguel  Vaz,  thinks  that  it  is  now  of  im- 
portance, for  the  greater  service  of  our  Lord,  that  I  should  go 
to  the  Governor,  to  arrange  with  him  about  the  affair  of  Jafa- 
napatam. So  in  two  or  three  days  I  shall  sail  for  Cambaia 
in  a  well  appointed  barque,^^  soon,  I  hope,  to  return  with  the 
affair  settled  as  we  could  wish — as  the  interests  of  religion  and 
of  the  glory  of  God  require. 

His  Lordship  the  Bishop  is  not  coming  to  Cochin  this  year, 
but  the  Vicar-general  will  sail  by  the  first  vessel  for  Portugal. 
He  will  very  soon  come  back  to  us,  as  I  hope  from  the  good- 
ness of  God,  knowing  how  important  to  the  service  of  God  it 
is  that  he  should  do  so.  Diego,  who  is  at  Goa  in  the  College 
of  St.  Paul,  is  burning  to  come  here.  Father  Master  Diego 
and  Master  Paul  and  all  the  College  are  in  good  health.  I 
have  received  a  great  number  of  letters  from  Portugal,  which 
have  lately  arrived  at  Goa.  Among  them  is  a  rescript  to  au- 
thorize you  to  receive  the  holy  priesthood  without  producing 

9  Matchoua  is  the  Sanskrit  name  for  the  caste  of  fishermen, 
i**  A  ta/«r^— apparently  a  large,  swift,  undecked  boat. 

Affair  of  y of anapatam.  259 

the  usual  proofs  of  having  sufficient  patrimony  or  title  or  the 
revenues  of  an  ecclesiastical  benefice  sufficient  for  your  main- 
tenance ;  but  I  think  you  have  no  occasion  to  use  this  faculty, 
since  the  Bishop  is  ready  to  pass  over  all  such  requirements 
and  ordain  you  priest,  as  he  has  lately  ordained  Father  Manuel 
and  Father  Caspar,  who  are  now  here  with  us  at  Cochin,  and 
who  will  soon  set  out  to  gather  fruit  in  the  same  part  of  our 
Lord's  vineyard  with  you.  The  letters  I  speak  of  say  that  two 
of  our  brothers  had  set  sail  from  Portugal  hither,  and  I  am 
very  uneasy  about  them,  because  they  have  not  yet  arrived. 
I  fear  much  they  may  either  be  wintering  at  Mozambique,  or 
have  been  forced  to  turn  back  to  Portugal  by  adverse  seas  and 
tempests.  They  tell  me  one  is  Portuguese  by  birth,  the  other 
an  Italian;  and  the  King  in  his  letter  to  me  sounds  their 
praises  loudly.  May  God  be  pleased  to  bring  both  of  them 
to  us  safe  and  sound  !  I  know  neither  of  them,  for  they  are 
not  any  of  those  we  left  at  Lisbon.  More  than  sixty  young 
men  of  our  Society  are  now  studying  in  the  University  of 
Coimbra,  and  the  accounts  we  get  of  them,  their  religious  cha- 
racter, their  modesty,  and  their  abilities,  give  great  reason  for 
praising  and  thanking  God  for  them  as  much  as  possible.  They 
are  nearly  all  Portuguese,  of  which  I  am  exceedingly  glad. 
There  is  also  very  joyful  news  about  our  brethren  in  Italy.  I 
will  not  say  more  of  all  this  now,  because  I  hope  in  less  than 
a  month  to  be  with  you,  and  then  you  shall  have  all  these 
letters  from  Europe  to  read. 

And  now  for  yourself.  As  soon  as  you  get  this,  I  most 
earnestly  entreat  you  again  and  again,  as  you  love  Cod  our 
Lord,  and  desire  to  please  Him,  set  out  at  once  to  visit  those 
newly  made  Christians  whom  I  lately  baptized  in  great  num- 
bers on  the  coast  of  the  kingdom  of  Travancore.  Set  up  a 
school  in  each  village,  where  the  young  children  capable  of 
instruction  may  assemble  every  day  under  the  direction  01  a 
master,  and  appoint  one  to  teach  them.  For  his  salary  and 
any  school  expenses,  you  may  take,  I  should  think,  150  fanams 
of  the  money  reserved  for  this  purpose.  This  sum  you  will 
divide  among  the  masters  of  the  different  village  schools,  as 

2  5o  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

soon  as  you  see  that  they  have  begun  their  work  and  got  it 
into  order  j  and  don't  go  away  from  any  place  without  giving 
the  master  at  least  a  part  of  his  salary,  so  that  they  may  work 
on  more  zealously,  and  look  forward  to  proving  how  well  they 
have  done,  by  having  some  progress  on  the  part  of  the  children 
to  show  when  we  go  there  again,  as  well  as  have  the  hopes 
of  future  pay.  Don't  leave  a  single  hamlet,  in  all  the  district 
right  up  to  the  Great  Fishery,  in  which  you  have  not  yourself 
been  present  at  these  daily  assemblies  of  the  children,  and 
also  provided  aright  for  their  continuance  after  your  departure. 
For  your  own  support  get  money  from  the  Commandant. 

At  Munahpaud  get  a  boat  to  take  you  to  Careapatana; 
but  before  you  get  there,  turn  aside  to  Monchur.  It  is  a  vil- 
lage of  Matchuas  not  yet  baptized,  not  much  more  than  a  league 
from  the  extreme  point  of  Cape  Comorin.  Baptize  them,  for 
they  are  sufficiently  prepared  for  it,  and  have  often  shown  that 
they  desire  it,  by  sending  some  of  their  people  to  entreat  me 
to  have  the  kindness  to  go  and  baptize  them  all.  I  was  willing 
enough  to  satisfy  their  pious  desire ;  but  though  I  have  often 
attempted  to  get  there,  I  have  always  been  detained  by  more 
urgent  affairs.  Antonio  Fernandez,  one  of  the  Malabar  Chris- 
tians, is  soon  to  follow  you,  and  may  probably  join  you  very 
soon,  being  on  board  a  very  light  and  swift  boat.  You  must 
take  him  with  you  everywhere,  as  a  companion  and  adviser  in 
all  that  you  do  on  this  coast,  until  you  have  baptized  all  the 
inhabitants.  He  is  a  very  good  man,  burning  with  zeal  for  the 
glory  of  God.  He  knows  by  experience  the  ways  of  the  people, 
in  what  manner  and  with  what  precautions  they  are  to  be 
dealt  with;  so  do  whatever  he  thinks  good,  and  never  disagree 
with  him  nor  prevent  him  from  doing  good.  He  is  a  man  that 
one  can  well  trust.  I  always  trusted  him  when  in  those  parts, 
and  never  repented  of  it.  So  that  I  not  only  advise  you  to 
defer  to  his  advice  and  let  him  manage  everything,  but  I  pray 
and  beseech  you  to  do  so. 

Take  with  you  Matthew  and  the  royal  officer  who  used  to 
go  with  me  from  Viranda  to  Patanam ;  also  your  servant  lads 
and  a  Canacapole  who  knows  how  to  write,  and  who  can  tran- 

Affair  of  Jafanapatam,  261 

scribe  for  you  the  prayers  which  the  children  and  other  cate- 
chumens are  to  be  taught  by  heart  by  the  care  and  dihgence 
of  the  teachers  of  Christian  doctrine  who  are  appointed,  copies 
of  which  you  can  leave  behind  you  everywhere.  Employ  the 
same  secretary  to  write  the  letters  you  want  to  send  anywhere 
as  you  think  well,  and  also  to  read  and  help  you  to  understand 
all  those  that  are  addressed  to  you  from  time  to  time  from 
different  parts  of  the  country.  Pay  the  Canacapole's  salary, 
not  out  of  the  money  set  apart  for  the  instruction  of  the  chil- 
dren, but  out  of  that  which  the  King  has  ordered  to  be  paid  for 
our  use  and  maintenance,  which  the  Commandant  will  give 
you  in  the  regular  instalments. 

On  leaving  where  you  are,  intrust  the  work  which  you 
have  been  doing,  of  baptizing  and  instructing  the  people  of  the 
Comorin  district,  to  the  good  priest  Joam  de  Lizana.  Francis 
Mendez,  who  is  to  take  this  letter  to  you,  is  ready  to  start, 
and  in  such  a  hurry  that  for  the  present  I  can  write  no  more. 

May  our  Lord  be  always  your  helper,  as  much  as  I  pray 
that  He  may  be  my  own  ! 

Your  most  affectionate  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Cochin,  December  i8th,  1544. 

As  soon  as  this  letter  was  dispatched,  St.  Francis  embarked 
for  Cambaia,^^  where  the  Governor  Sousa  was  to  be  found. 
This  northward  voyage  gave  him  the  opportunity  for  one  of 
those  beautiful  conquests  of  charity  which  were  so  frequent 

11  In  some  old  maps  of  India  the  peninsula  of  Gujerat  is  called  Cambaia  ; 
but  the  name  is  at  present  limited  to  the  city  of  Cambay,  at  the  head  of  the  gulf 
of  the  same  name,  which  separates  Gujerat  on  the  south-east  from  the  main- 
land. The  Portuguese  had  a  fortress  at  Diu,  a  town  on  the  southern  coast  of 
the  peninsula,  and  disputes  were  now  arising  concerning  the  observance  of  the 
terms  of  a  treaty  of  peace  made  some  years  before  by  the  Viceroy,  Don  Garcia 
da  Noroila,  which  had  permitted  a  native  prince  to  build  a  wall  between  the 
fort  and  the  part  of  the  town  inhabited  by  the  Mussulmans.  This  wall  was 
being  made  a  fortification,  and  there  was  a  league  among  the  Indian  princes  to 
attack  and  take  the  forte.  This  and  other  matters  mentioned  by  Faria  y  Sousa, 
Asia  Portuguesa,  t.  ii.  p.  I.  c.  xiv.,  probably  occasioned  the  presence  01  the 
Governor  in  those  parts. 

262  St  Francis  Xavier, 

during  his  life  in  the  East,  where  his  constant  passages  from 
place  to  place  brought  him  across  so  many  wild  and  rough 
characters,  in  whose  hearts  the  seeds  of  faith  had  not  been 
altogether  destroyed  even  by  a  career  of  licentiousness.  On 
this  voyage  he  found  himself  the  chance  companion  of  a  man 
of  rank  and  high  office,  whose  impiety  and  wicked  life  were  so 
notorious  as  to  be  a  cause  of  scandal  even  to  the  heathen. 
Francis  made  himself  his  familiar  friend,  and  at  last  endea- 
voured to  lead  him  to  converse  on  matters  of  religion.  He 
made  very  little  way  with  him,  however ;  and  when  he  asked 
him  about  going  to  confession,  the  other  broke  out  into  blas- 
phemous language,  declaring  that  nothing  should  ever  induce 
him  to  do  it.  So  matters  went  on,  day  after  day,  St.  Francis 
always  paying  him  great  attention,  and  seeming  to  court  his 
friendship,  until  they  arrived  at  Cananor,  a  port  on  their  route, 
and,  as  the  vessel  stayed  there  for  a  few  hours,  the  two  friends 
landed  and  walked  together  into  a  palm  grove  that  was  near 
the  shore.  Then  Francis  Xavier  threw  himself  on  his  knees, 
laid  his  shoulders  bare,  and  began  to  scourge  himself  cruelly 
with  a  discipline,  until  the  ground  was  red  with  his  blood  and 
the  whole  grove  sounded  with  the  noise  of  the  blows.  Then  he 
began  to  tell  the  man  that  it  was  for  him  that  he  was  doing  this 
penance,  and  he  had  cost  far  more  than  this  to  his  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ,  Whom  he  implored  to  look  upon  the  price  of  His 
own  Blood,  to  send  His  light  into  that  poor  soul,  and  stretch 
out  His  hand  to  save  him.  The  other  was  overwhelmed,  and 
cried  out  in  his  turn  that  Francis  had  conquered  him,  begging 
him  to  hear  his  confession  and  reconcile  him  to  God  at  once ; 
and  so  great  was  his  sorrow  that  Francis  was  able  to  receive 
his  confession  and  absolve  him  before  they  returned  to  the 

12  We  have  another  anecdote  of  this  visit  to  Cananor  preserved  to  us,  which, 
like  all  the  incidental  information  that  exists  as  to  this  period  of  the  life  of 
Francis  Xavier,  bears  witness  to  the  esteem  in  which  he  was  universally  held, 
and  the  common  opinion  of  his  sanctity.  A  good  Christian  father  came  to  him 
to  bewail  his  own  wretched  lot,  on  account  of  the  bad  behaviour  of  a  son  of  his. 
as  yet  a  lad.  Francis  consoled  him,  by  saying  that  age  would  probably  bring 
with  it  an  improvement ;  and  then,  after  a  few  moments  of  recollection,  he 

Affair  of  Jafanapatajn,  263 

Francis  had  little  difficulty  in  persuading  the  Governor  of 
India  to  undertake  the  punishment  of  the  usurping  Rajah  of 
Jafanapatam  for  the  cruelty  with  which  he  had  treated  his 
Christian  subjects.  Martin  Alfonso  had  lately  terrified  him 
into  a  sort  of  submission  to  the  supremacy  of  the  Portuguese 
Crown  by  the  payment  of  an  annual  tribute  of  4000  ducats  -^^ 
and  he  was  ready  enough  to  order  immediately  an  expedition 
against  Jafanapatam  which  would  show  to  all  the  princes  of 
India  and  Ceylon  thg,t  it  would  not  be  permitted  them  with 
impunity  to  persecute  Christians.  The  subordinate  officers 
along  the  coast  received  orders  to  collect  their  forces  in  men 
and  ships,  and  Negapatam  was  named  as  .the  place  at  which 
the  armament  was  to  rendezvous.  When  we  remember  the 
severe  way  in  which  Batecala  had  been  treated  by  this  same 
Governor,  it  is  not  surprising  that  St.  Francis  should  have 
been  anxious  rather  to  mitigate  his  wrath  than  to  inflame  it. 
The  fact  that  the  execution  of  the  punishment  was  to  be  com- 
mitted to  the  local  commandants,  whose  character  Francis  had 
already  had  so  many  occasions  of  learning,  was  not  a  very 
favourable  omen ;  and  he  seems  to  have  readily  fallen  in  with 
the  suggestion  that  he  should  be  on  the  spot  when  the  arma- 
ment sailed.  Indeed,  a  part  of  the  Governor's  order  was, 
that  the  offending  Rajah  should  be  placed  at  his  disposal ;  an 
arrangement  which,  if  the  expedition  had  succeeded,  would 
probably  have  saved  his  life  if  he  had  been  made  prisoner. 

It  appears  from  a  passage  in  a  letter  to  Simon  Rodriguez, 
written  by  Francis  after  his  return  from  Cambaia,  that  he  stop- 

seized  the  hand  of  his  friend  with  great  signs  of  joy,  and  told  him  to  be  of  good 
heart,  for  his  son  would  become  a  Franciscan  friar,  and  be  renowned  both  for 
learning  and  holiness.  The  prophecy  turned  out  true  :  the  youth  grew  up  to 
enter  the  Franciscan  Order,  became  famous  for  learning  and  virtue,  and  died 
a  martyr's  death  in  Ceylon,  whither  he  was  sent  to  preach. 

A3  See  Faria  y  Sousa,  Asia  Portuguesa,  t,  ii.  p.  i.  c,  xiii.  §  5.  This  was  at 
the  time  of  the  expedition  spoken  of  above,  when  the  pagoda  of  Tebilicare  was 
plundered.  At  the  same  time,  the  writer  informs  us  that  the  King  '  called 
"  Grande''  at  Comorin'  made  the  Governor  a  large  present  out  of  fear.  This 
was  probably  the  Maharajah  of  Travancore,  whom  we  know  from  the  letters  of 
St.  Francis  to  have  been  desirous  of  conciliating  the  Portuguese. 

264  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

ped  for  a  short  time  at  Goa  before  proceeding  to  find  the 
Governor.  He  does  not  seem  to  have  Hngered  there  on  his 
return,  as  we  find  him  again  at  Cochin  in  the  middle  of  January 
1545,  from  which  place  he  wrote  several  letters  to  be  sent  to 
Europe  by  the  same  ships  which  were  to  take  Miguel  Vaz  on 
his  embassy  of  charity.  Perhaps  Miguel  himself  may  have  been 
still  at  Cochin.^*  Three  of  these  letters  must  now  be  inserted. 
The  first  was  addressed  to  King  John  of  Portugal,  recommend- 
ing Miguel  to  the  favour  and  attention  of  the  King,  and  in- 
sisting, with  true  apostolical  liberty,  on  the  duty  incumbent  on 
his  Highness'  conscience  of  providing  for  the  advancement  of 
religion  in  India,  and  in  particular  of  punishing  by  something 
more  forcible  than  a  mere  reprimand  or  expression  of  his  will 
the  officers  under  the  Crown  who  did  so  much  mischief  by  their 
violence  and  cruelty  towards  the  new  converts.  The  other  let- 
ters which  remain  to  us  are  to  the  Society  at  Rome  and  to 
Simon  Rodriguez  in  Portugal,  who  was  also  to  read  the  letter 
to  Rome  before  it  was  sent  on. 

!■*  We  find  another  of  St.  Francis'  occasional  prophecies  connected  with  his 
stay  at  Cochin.  His  great  friend,  Cosmo  Aiiez,  one  of  the  benefactors  of  the 
College  of  Santa  Fe,  who  held  some  office  like  that  of  Treasurer  under  the 
Crown,  had  bought  a  very  valuable  diamond  for  the  King,  on  his  own  respon- 
sibility, and  sent  it  to  Portugal.  Francis  asked  him  which  ship  it  was  in,  and 
when  the  ship  was  named,  said  he  would  rather  have  heard  him  say  any  other. 
This  frightened  Anez,  who  begged  him  to  pray  for  the  safety  of  the  vessel. 
Some  days  after,  he  was  again  at  table  with  Anez,  who  was  anxious  about  his 
jewel,  and  then  Francis  turned  to  him,  and  told  him  to  give  thanks  to  God, 
because  the  diamond  was  safe  in  the  hands  of  the  Queen,  It  turned  out  after- 
wards that  the  ship  had  been  in  great  danger  from  a  large  leak  which  had  sud- 
denly appeared,  and  which  made  the  captain  think  of  running  her  on  shore, 
and  trying  to  save  the  crew  and  cargo  ;  but  the  leak  had  been  stopped,  as  sud- 
denly as  it  appeared,  without  any  one  being  able  to  explain  the  favourable  turn 
of  the  matter.  This  anecdote,  taken  by  Bartoli  from  the  Processes,  will  be  found 
in  Massei,  Vifa  di  S.  Francesco,  t,  ii.  c,  vi.  Cosmo  Aflez  was  the  friend  who 
challenged  Francis  about  the  miracle  at  Mutan,  related  above.  Francis  cried 
out,  'Jesus  !  how  can  you  believe  that  a  man  so  miserable  as  I  am  could  raise 
the  dead  !'  and  confessed  that  the  young  man  was  '  found  to  be  alive,'  and  that 
the  people  '  imagined'  a  miracle. 

Letters  to  Europe.  26^ 

(xLi.)  To  John  III.  King  of  Portugal. 


I  would  fain  that  your  Highness  may  be  fully  con- 
vinced, and  that  the  reflections  of  your  own  heart  may  continu- 
ally tell  you,  that  God  our  Lord  has  given  to  your  Highness, 
before  all  other  Christian  princes  of  the  earth,  the  empire  of 
the  Indies,  in  order  that  He  might  therein  test  your  virtue,  and 
prove  with  what  faithfulness  you  discharge  the  work  committed 
to  you,  and  with  what  active  gratitude  you  answer  to  His  bene- 
fits :  and  that  God's  purpose  in  this  was  not  so  much  to  enrich 
your  royal  treasury  with  the  profits  of  precious  fruits  from  dis- 
tant lands  and  the  influx  of  wealth  from  abroad,  as  rather  to 
present  to  you  occasions  of  heroic  labours  and  afford  your  in- 
tense and  religious  devotion  the  means  of  making  themselves 
pleasing  to  Himself,  in  bringing,  by  your  own  burning  zeal, 
and  by  the  work  of  skilful  ministers  employed  by  you,  the  un- 
believers of  these  countries  to  the  knowledge  of  Him,  the  Cre- 
ator and  the  Saviour  of  the  world. 

Justly  and  rightly,  therefore,  does  your  Highness  recom- 
mend to  those  servants  of  yours  whom  you  send  hither  to  exert 
themselves  much  in  propagating  widely  our  holy  faith,  and 
in  the  advancement  of  religion.  Since  your  Highness  well  un- 
derstands that  God  will  require  of  you  an  account  of  the  sal- 
vation of  so  many  nations,  who  are  ready  to  follow  the  better 
path  if  any  one  will  show  them  it,  but  meanwhile,  for  want  of 
a  teacher,  lie  in  blind  darkness  and  the  filth  of  most  grievous 
sins,  offending  continually  their  Creator,  and  casting  their  own 
souls  headlong  into  the  misery  of  eternal  death. 

Your  Highness  will  receive  a  report  from  Don  Miguel  Vaz, 
who  has  been  the  Vicar-general  of  the  Bishop  of  Goa,  and 
is  now  leaving  us  for  Portugal,  as  to  what  his  experience  has 
been  of  the  readiness  of  these  nations  to  be  taught  the  faith, 
and  of  the  other  openings  which  present  themselves  here  for 
the  good  progress  of  religion.  He  has  left  among  them  so  great 
an  amount  of  regret  at  his  departure,  that  his  return  at  the 
end  of  a  year  is  very  advisable  for  their  consolation  and  pro- 

266  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

tection;  though  there  is  quite  reason  enough  for  his  return 
in  your  Highness'  own  interests.  I  mean  that  you  may  thus 
confide  to  a  servant  so  entirely  competent  and  industrious  the 
grave  duty  which  is  urgent  upon  you  of  advancing  the  glory 
of  God  in  India.  If  you  set  this  faithful  and  experienced 
steward  over  this  business,  you  may  rest  in  full  security,  for 
you  may  rely  on  his  eminent  virtue,  proved  by  so  many  years' 
experience,  and  which  has  won  for  him  the  veneration  of  the 
whole  population  here,  for  losing  no  opportunity  of  defending 
or  advancing  religion. 

Again  and  again  I  entreat  and  conjure  your  Highness,  that 
if  you  wish  to  provide  well  for  the  service  of  God  and  the  in- 
terests of  the  Church,  if  you  have  any  regard  for  all  the  good 
well  reputed  persons  who  Hve  here  in  India,  for  the  Chris- 
tians lately  converted  to  our  holy  faith,  and  I  may  add,  if  you 
wish  to  do  me  a  real  kindness  once  in  this  life,  order  Don 
Miguel  Vaz,  who  is  now  leaving  us,  to  come  back  again.  I 
have  no  other  reason  for  begging  this  than  the  service  of  God, 
the  increase  of  our  holy  faith,  and  the  discharge  of  the  con- 
science of  your  Highness.  God  our  Lord  is  witness  that  I 
say  the  truth.  I  know  how  much  a  man  like  that  is  regretted 
here,  and  how  useful  he  is.  And  so,  to  fulfil  my  duty  and  to 
discharge  my  own  conscience  as  well  as  yours,  I  declare  and 
protest  to  your  Highness,  that  it  is  quite  essential,  if  you  de- 
sire that  our  holy  faith  should  be  promoted  and  spread  abroad 
here  in  India,  and  if  you  wish  those  who  are  already  gathered 
into  the  Church  not  to  be  torn  from  her  and  to  fall  back  into 
their  old  superstitions,  scandalized  and  scared  away  by  the 
many  grievous  injuries  and  vexations  which  they  suffer — and 
especially  from  your  Highness'  own  servants — that  you  send 
hither  again  Don  Miguel  Vaz,  who  has  so  brave  a  heart  and 
so  constant  a  courage  in  resisting  those  who  persecute  the 

Although  the  Bishop  is  a  prelate  of  all  that  consummate 
virtue  which  he  in  truth  possesses,  yet,  as  your  Highness  is 
aware,  he  is  now  bent  down  with  old  age,  and  has  besides  so 
much  to  suffer  from  diseases,  as  no  longer  to  possess  bodily 

Letters  to  Europe,  i6y 

strength  sufficient  to  undergo  the  very  great  labours  which  are 
required  for  the  exact  discharge  of  all  the  duties  of  the  Epis- 
copate out  here,  however  much  he  abounds  in  vigour  of  mind, 
and,  indeed,  increases  in  it  daily.  There  is  a  reward  which 
God  is  wont  to  grant  to  those  who  have  persevered  for  many 
years  in  His  service,  spending  all  their  life  and  prime  in  un- 
dergoing great  labours  for  His  sake,  until  they  have  attained 
to  an  almost  entire  victory  over  the  rebellion  of  their  body 
against  the  spirit.  To  such  men  God  gives  in  their  late  old 
age  this  victory  as  a  fruit  of  their  continual  struggles,  and  that 
others  their  subjects  may  see  their  example  and  imitate  their 
perseverance,  that  they  feel  themselves  as  it  were  growing 
young  again  in  the  renewal  of  spiritual  strength  just  at  the 
time  when  nature  gives  way  under  the  weight  of  all  the  trou- 
bles of  decrepitude  and  old  age.  They  have  spent  their  lives 
in  the  practice  of  virtue,  and,  as  strength  gradually  fails  them, 
the  earthly  body  is  changed  into  a  heavenly  spirit.  So  it  is 
with  our  good  Bishop,  and  the  time  has  come  when  he  needs 
assistance  for  the  labours  which  his  office  lays  upon  him. 

I  entreat  you,  my  lord  King,  and  conjure  you  for  the  sake 
of  God's  service,  that,  as  I  write  what  follows  with  the  purest 
intention  and  in  the  most  perfectly  sincere  truthfulness,  so  also 
your  Highness  may  be  pleased  to  receive  what  I  suggest  with 
like  kindness,  favour,  and  goodwill.  It  is  indeed  with  the 
single  motive  of  advancing  the  service  and  honour  of  God, 
and  out  of  the  desire  which  I  feel  to  deliver  your  royal  con- 
science from  a  heavy  burthen,  that  I  entreat  and  beseech  you 
not  to  be  content  with  recommending  to  your  servants  here 
the  interests  of  religion  by  letter,  but  also  to  make  your 
recommendation  authoritative  and  weighty  by  letting  men  see 
examples  of  just  retribution  in  the  punishment  of  those  who 
have  failed  in  their  duty  in  this  respect.  For  there  is  danger 
that  when  our  Lord  God  calls  your  Highness  to  His  judgment 
— which  will  be  when  it  is  least  expected,  and  there  will  be 
no  hope  or  method  of  avoiding  it — there  is  danger,  I  say,  that 
your  Highness  may  hear  angry  words  from  God,  *  Why  didst , 
thou  not  punish  those  who  owned  thy  authority  and  were  thy 

268  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

subjects,  and  who  were  enemies  to  Me  in  India?  Thou 
wouldst  surely  have  been  severe  in  punishing  them,  if  they 
had  been  found  negligent  in  their  care  of  taxes  due  to  thee 
and  in  matters  of  thy  revenue.'  Nor  do  I  know.  Sire,  what 
weight  in  excusing  you  at  that  moment  will  be  allowed  to  the 
answer  you  may  make,  and  say,  *  Every  year  when  I  wrote  to 
my  ministers,  Lord,  I  recommended  to  them  the  interests  of 
Thy  divine  service.'  For  the  answer  will  come  at  once,  *  But 
those  who  altogether  trampled  upon  those  solemn  command- 
ments thou  didst  allow  to  do  so  unpunished,  and  at  the  same 
time  those  whom  thou  didst  find  unfaithful  and  remiss  as 
to  their  attention  to  thy  own  interests,  thou  didst  duly 

Again,  Sire,  by  all  the  zeal  which  burns  in  you  for  the  glory 
of  God,  and  by  the  very  great  care  which  I  am  sure  you  have 
to  discharge  before  God  the  obligations  of  your  royal  office, 
and  to  keep  your  conscience  free  from  burthen,  I  conjure  and 
beseech  your  Highness  to  send  to  India  a  special  and  com- 
petent minister,  armed  with  all  due  authority,  whose  single 
office  it  may  be  to  provide  for  the  salvation  of  the  countless 
souls  here  which  are  now  in  danger  of  being  lost.  And  let 
him  have  for  his  discharge  of  this  duty  powers  from  you  quite 
independent  of  all  authority  or  command  of  your  officers  whose 
duty  it  is  to  attend  to  the  revenue  and  management  of  your 
government.  In  this  way  the  troubles  and  scandals  may  be 
avoided  which  have  hitherto  so  grievously  and  so  frequently 
disturbed  the  progress  of  religion. 

I  would  have  your  Highness  take  an  exact  account,  and 
add  up  the  full  sum  of  all  the  revenues  and  temporal  advant- 
ages which,  by  the  goodness  of  God,  you  receive  from  India. 
Then  deduct  what  you  spend  here  for  the  service  of  God  and 
the  cause  of  religion.  And  then,  when  all  has  been  fairly 
reckoned  up,  make  such  a  division  of  profits  between  what  is 
to  go  to  your  royal  purse  and  what  is  to  be  given  to  God  and 
His  heavenly  kingdom  as  shall  seem  just  and  good  to  your 
grateful  and  religious  heart,  taking  care  that  the  Creator  of  all 
things  may  never  seem  to  be  repaid  poorly  and  charily  by 

Letters  to  Europe,  269 

your  Highness  by  too  small  a  portion  of  the  gifts  which  He 
has  poured  so  lavishly  into  your  bosom.  And  let  your  High- 
ness do  this  without  any  delay  or  procrastination,  for,  however 
quickly  it  be  done,  it  will  always  be  later  than  it  ought.  What 
urges  me  to  write  is  the  true  and  burning  charity  of  my  heart 
towards  you;  for,  in  truth,  I  seem  to  hear  voices  rising  to 
heaven  from  these  countries  against  your  Highness,  complain- 
ing, on  the  part  of  India,  that  she  is  dealt  with  in  a  niggardly 
way  by  your  Highness,  since  while  your  treasury  is  being  en- 
riched by  immense  revenues  from  her,  you  barely  give  in  re- 
turn so  very  small  a  pittance  in  aid  of  the  relief  of  her  most 
grievous  spiritual  necessities. 

It  will  not,  I  think,  be  unpleasant  to  your  Highness,  on 
whom  lies  this  duty  of  providing  for  the  salvation  of  souls  in 
this  your  people  of  India,  to  know  how  the  affairs  of  that  sal- 
vation stand  at  present.  In  Jafanapatam  and  on  the  coast  of 
Coulan  it  may  well  be  that  before  the  end  of  the  year  more 
than  a  hundred  thousand  souls  will  have  been  added  to  the 
Church  of  Christ.  I  do  not  speak  of  Ceylon.  Would  to  God 
that  the  Rajah  of  that  island  were  at  all  softened  by  the  great 
favour  your  Highness  shows  him,  so  as  not  to  be  so  cruelly 
adverse  to  admitting  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  into  any  part  of  his 
territories ! 

Send  out  to  us.  Sire,  as  many  labourers  as  possible  of  oui 
Society,  that  there  may  be  enough  not  only  to  baptize  and 
instruct  in  the  Christian  doctrine  the  great  numbers  who  are 
led  to  embrace  our  holy  faith  here,  but  also  some  who  may  be 
spared  to  be  sent  to  Malacca  and  the  countries  near  that  city, 
where  there  are  many  converts. 

Father  Master  Diego  and  Don  Paul  are  at  the  College  of 
Santa  Fe.  As  they  are  now  writing  at  full  length  to  your  High- 
ness about  that  holy  College,  I  will  say  nothing  of  it  at  present 
except  that  I  beg  as  a  special  favour  that  your  Highness  will 
be  at  the  trouble  to  write  to  Cosmo  Afiez,  that  as  he  began 
and  has  carried  on  the  foundation  of  the  College,  he  is  not 
to  give  up  completing  it  and  bringing  it  to  full  perfection,  nor 
by  any  means  to  be  conquered  by  this  labour,  for  that  he  will 

270  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

certainly  have  a  worthy  reward  for  so  good  a  work,  first  from 
God,  and  then  from  your  Highness. 

Francesco  Mancias  and  myself  live  on  the  promontory  of 
Comorin,  among  the  Christians  converted  by  Don  Miguel  Vaz, 
the  Vicar-general  of  India.  I  have  now  with  me  three  priests, 
natives  of  the  country.  The  College  of  Cranganor,^^  which  is 
the  work  of  Fra  Vincenzo,  makes  great  progress,  and  will  ad- 
vance from  good  to  better  if  your  Highness  continues  to  favour 
it  as  heretofore.  There  is  really  the  truest  reason  for  giving 
constant  thanks  to  God  for  the  great  fmit  to  the  service  of 
Christ  our  Lord  which  has  arisen  from  that  holy  College.  There 
is  a  very  probable  hope  that  it  will  send  forth  religious  men 
who  may  make  the  whole  of  Malabar,  which  is  now  sunk  in 
vice  and  error,  feel  a  saving  shame  at  its  own  state  of  misery, 
and  may  bring  the  light  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  to  the  be- 
nighted minds  of  the  people,  and  make  His  Holy  Name  mani- 
fest among  them  all,  by  the  work  and  ministrations  of  the  dis- 
ciples of  Fra  Vincenzo.  I  beseech  and  implore  your  Highness, 
for  the  sake  of  God,  to  vouchsafe  to  show  him  favour,  both  by 
other  proofs  of  your  royal  goodwill  and  also  by  granting  him 
the  alms  which  he  asks  of  you.  As  I  expect  to  die  in  these 
Indian  regions  and  never  to  see  your  Highness  again  in  this 
life,  I  beg  you,  my  lord,  to  help  me  with  your  prayers,  that  we 
may  see  one  another  again  in  the  next  world,  where  we  shall 
certainly  have  more  rest  than  here ;  asking  for  me  of  our  Lord 
God  what  I  in  return  ask  for  your  Highness — that  is,  that  He 
may  give  you  the  grace  so  to  think  and  act  now  as  at  the  hour 
of  your  death  you  would  be  glad  to  have  thought  and  to  have 

Your  Highness'  servant, 


Cochin,  January  20th,  1545. 

15  Brother  Vincent  de  Lagos,  a  Franciscan  friar,  accompanied  to  India,  in 
1538,  Don  Joam  Albuquerque.  Great  fruits  resulted  from  his  labours  at  Goa 
and  Cranganor.  He  founded,  in  1540,  a  College  in  the  lastmentioned  city, 
under  the  name  of  St.  James,  and  taught  there  during  ten  years.  He  converted 
a  great  number  of  Greek  and  Armenian  schismatics  in  the  kingdom  oi  Tanor. 
He  died  in  1550.  {Uon.Pagh.) 

Letters  to  Europe,  271 


We  can  hardly  account  for  the  very  great  anxiety  with 
which  Francis  urges  on  the  King  to  send  back  Miguel  Vaz;  an 
anxiety  which  shows  itself  also  in  the  letter  to  Simon  Rodriguez 
which  was  written  at  the  same  time.  Perhaps  it  was  merely 
that  Miguel  was  the  one  person  he  had  met  with  in  India  who 
most  thoroughly  sympathized  with  him  in  his  zeal  for  the 
native  Christians,  as  he  was  apparently  the  single  person  in 
high  position  whose  voice  was  always  sure  to  be  lifted  in  their 
defence.  It  may  be,  however,  that  this  very  quality  in  the  Vicar- 
general  made  him  odious  to  some  of  the  Portuguese  in  India, 
who  would  not  augur  any  good  to  themselves  from  his  pre- 
sence at  the  Court,  and  who  might  be  very  willing  to  see  him 
detained  in  Portugal  rather  than  sent  back  with  powers  for  the 
protection  of  the  natives.     The  next  letter  is  to  St.  Ignatius. 

(xLii.)   To  the  Reverend  Father  Ignatius  of  Loyola, 
Geiieral  of  the  Society  of  Jesus ^  at  Rome. 

May  the  grace  and  charity  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  always 
help  and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

If  you  would  do  what  is  greatly  desired  by  all  who  take 
an  interest  in  the  College  of  Santa  F^,  and  especially  the  Go- 
vernor, the  most  devoted  of  them  all,  I  do  beseech  and  con- 
jure you,  by  our  Lord,  to  send  us,  at  least  if  it  can  be  done, 
the  faculties  that  have  been  asked  of  you ;  I  mean  what  they 
wanted  you  to  get  for  them  from  the  Holy  Father,  that  the 
high  altar  of  this  College  may  be  privileged  for  one  soul  as 
often  as  mass  is  said  on  it,  on  the  conditions  that  I  wrote  you 
two  years  ago  in  the  name  of  the  Governor.  We  are  also 
waiting  for  the  other  graces  about  which  I  wrote  to  you 'at  the 
same  time  by  his  order. 

Any  of  our  Society  who  are  not  fit  for  hearing  confessions 
or  preaching,  or  for  discharging  the  other  functions  of  the 
Society,  would  be  of  great  use  here  after  having  been  duly 
practised  in  meditation  and  spending  some  months  in  humble 
and  abject  services,  if  they  had  good  strength  of  body  and 

272  St.  Francis  Xavler. 

virtue  of  mind.  For  here,  among  the  heathen,  great  learning 
is  not  needed.  It  is  enough  if  they  are  not  altogether  unedu- 
cated, so  as  to  know  how  to  teach  children  and  ignorant  per- 
sons the  usual  prayers  of  the  Church ;  and  to  go  round  the 
towns  and  villages  to  baptize  newborn  infants.  Many  of  these 
die  without  baptism,  because  we  cannot  be  at  so  many  places, 
so  distant,  too,  from  one  another.  So  any  men  that  you  may 
come  across  of  this  sort,  who,  not  well  adapted  for  our  Society 
in  Europe,  and  whom  you  see  to  be  fit  for  going  about  here 
to  baptize  newborn  children  and  teach  the  Catechism  to  the 
ignorant,  send  them  out  to  us,  for  here  they  will  do  a  very 
great  deal  of  good.  I  want  them  to  be  thoroughly  strong  in 
body,  and  well  able  to  bear  fatigue.  This  is  a  most  trying  and 
fatiguing  country,  both  from  the  excessive  heat,  the  scarcity  of 
wholesome  water,  and  also  the  poorness  of  the  food.  Rice, 
fish,  and  milk  are  what  we  live  on  and  nothing  else ;  no  bread, 
no  wine,  none  of  the  other  things  that  you  have  plenty  of.  So 
I  want  young  men  and  hale  men,  not  weak  and  old  men,  that 
they  may  bear  the  fatigue  of  continual  baptizing,  teaching,  and 
going  about,  as  they  will  often  have  to  do,  not  only  to  baptize 
newborn  children,  but  to  protect  the  Christians  from  the  fury 
and  rage  of  the  heathen.  Sometimes  God  gives  us  here  the 
singular  blessing  of  being  obliged  to  risk  our  lives  for  His  sake, 
and  of  having  no  way  of  avoiding  the  risk  without  breaking  the 
law  of  charity.  They  must  remember  that  we  are  born  mortal, 
and  that  for  a  Christian  nothing  can  be  more  desirable  than  to 
suffer  death  for  Christ.  So  they  must  be  armed  with  a  brave 
heart  and  strength  from  above. 

And  as  I,  who  have  none  of  this  courage  and  virtue,  am 
now  setting  off  for  countries  where  I  shall  have  the  very  great- 
est need  of  heavenly  aid,  I  conjure  you,  by  God  and  His  holy 
religion,  to  remember  me  by  name  in  your  holy  sacrifices,  and 
also  take  diligent  care  that  I  may  have  the  protection  of  the 
prayers  of  the  whole  Society.  I  am  quite  persuaded  that  I 
have  already  been  delivered  by  God  from  many  and  great  dan- 
gers by  your  intercessions  and  that  of  the  Society.  I  write 
this  to  you  that  you  may  understand  what  sort  of  men  we  want. 

Letters  to  Europe.  273 

However,  if  you  find  any  strong  enough  to  bear  all  the  labours 
and  inconveniences  of  which  I  have  spoken,  but  not  very  ready 
or  eager  to  risk  their  lives,  I  would  have  you  send  them  still, 
for  there  are  many  regions  here  vhere  they  may  work  for  reli- 
gion without  any  danger  of  death .  Remember  always  that  to 
catch  these  heathen  there  is  no  need  of  great  learning.  Men, 
such  as  I  speak  of,  after  they  have  been  a  few  years  in  these 
countries,  will  have  added  to  them  from  Heaven  strength  and 
courage  for  greater  works.  You  may  also  send  us  men  cap- 
able of  hearing  confessions  and  of  giving  the  Spiritual  Exer- 
cises, even  if  they  are  not  able  to  bear  harder  work ;  for  they 
will  reside  at  Goa  or  at  Cochin,  in  which  towns  they  will  be  able 
greatly  to  serve  religion,  and  have  plenty  of  everything  them- 
selves, just  as  in  Portugal.  For  these  towns  are  full  of  Por- 
tuguese families,  and  there  will  be  no  lack  of  what  is  wanted  to 
relieve  them  in  case  of  delicate  health  or  illness;  in  both  places 
there  are  plenty  of  physicians  and  plenty  of  medicines.  In 
other  places  where  the  Portuguese  do  not  live,  such  as  those 
which  we  are  now  going  through  in  our- missions,  there  is  no 
provision  or  help  for  the  sick.  But  in  both  the  cities  I  have 
named  great  good  may  be  done  by  teaching  the  inhabitants  the 
practice  of  the  Spiritual  Exercises. 

It  is  four  years  since  we  sailed  from  Portugal,  and  during 
this  interval  I  have  received  from  you  one  letter  and  no  more. 
I  have  had  two  from  Father  Simon,  from  Portugal,  and  I  long 
very  much,  my  Father,  to  hear  something  at  least  once  a  year 
about  you  and  our  other  brothers.  I  do  not  doubt  that  you 
write  to  me  every  year,  as  I  do  to  you ;  but  I  fear  that  the 
letters  on  both  sides  miscarry,  and  that  you  desiderate  mine  as 
I  yours.  Two  of  ours  were  coming  to  India  this  year,  but 
their  vessel  has  not  yet  reached  Goa.  Whether  it  has  returned 
to  Portugal  or  passed  the  winter  at  Mozambique,  as  Portuguese 
vessels  often  do,  I  know  not  in  the  least. 

I  should  like  to  hear  whether  our  old  friend  still  goes  about 
upon  a  mule.  If  he  does,  as  he  did  when  I  left,  he  must  be 
very  infirm  not  to  have  recovered  the  use  of  his  feet,  after  so 
many  physicians  and  so  many  remedies.     I  have  no  other 

VOL.    I.  T 

274  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

news  to  tell  you,  only  that  you  are  to  send  here  as  many  as 
you  can,  for  we  are  in  extreme  dearth  of  workers  for  God.  I 
pray  God  that  if  we  are  never  to  see  one  another  again  in  this 
life,  at  all  events  we  may  do  so  in  that  blessed  life  which  is  to 
come,  where  there  will  be  so  much  more  peace  than  we  can 
enjoy  now. 

Cochin,  January  22d,  1545. 

This  letter  seems  to  begin  abruptly,  and  we  might  suspect 
that  its  first  paragraph,  as  well  as  the  signature  at  the  end, 
may  have  perished  under  the  hands  of  the  relic  hunters,  who 
have  certainly  destroyed  for  us  a  great  number  of  the  letters  of 
the  Saints.  But  it  is  clearly  meant  for  St  Ignatius  alone,  and 
may  have  been  a  note  to  him  of  the  things  which  St.  Francis 
wished  to  suggest,  particularly  as  to  the  sort  of  subjects  to  be 
sent  out  to  India,  and  so  may  have  been  written  originally  as 
we  have  it.  We  may  remark  that  it  contains  the  first  allusion 
to  the  intention  of  St.  Francis  to  proceed  to  the  further  East — 
at  least  we  may  so  interpret  his  words  about  his  own  great 
need  of  the  protection  of  prayer.  The  passage  about  the  old 
friend  and  the  mule  is  probably  an  allusion  to  some  domestic 
joke  current  among  the  early  companions  of  St.  Ignatius;  and 
it  shows  us  that  Francis  had  received  a  budget  of  personal  de- 
tails in  the  letters  from  Rome,  which  he  is  answering.  We  sub- 
join the  letter  written  at  the  same  tiaie  to  Simon  Rodriguez, 
who  seems  to  have  been  expressing  a  desire  to  come  out  to 
India  himself.  The  Fernandez  mentioned  in  the  second  para- 
graph was  a  friend  of  Sim.on's,  who  seems  to  have  had  some 
idea  of  entering  religion  in  India.  The  letter  contains  the 
strongest  possible  denunciation  of  the  conduct  and  maxims  of 
the  Portuguese  officials,  as  well  as  an  earnest  entreaty  to  Simon 
to  use  his  influence  with  the  King  to  prevent  any  hindrance 
being  put  in  the  way  of  Miguel  Vaz's  return.  We  may  add 
to  this  letter  another  written  to  the  Society  ut  Rome  without 
further  comment. 

Letters  to  Europe,  275 

(xuii.)   To  Master  Simon  Rodriguez^  of  the  Society 
of  Jesus, 

May  the  grace  and  love  of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord  always 
favour  and  help  us  !     Amen. 

The  letters  that  I  write  to  Rome  I  send  open  to  you,  that 
you  may  read  them  through  first  and  become  acquainted  with 
the  state  of  things  out  here,  and  so  be  stirred  up  to  send  us 
out  every  year  as  many  as  possible  to  labour  in  the  preaching 
of  the  Gospel.  However  many  may  come,  they  will  find  abund- 
ant scope  for' great  work  in  the  service  of  God.  As  to  your, 
coming  hither  yourself,  for  miy  part,  if  I  could  feel  sure  that 
your  strength  and  powers  of  body  were  equal  to  the  vigour  of 
your  mind,  I  should  have  been  the  first  to  invite  you,  and 
should  have  prayed  you  very  much  to  be  so  very  good  as  to 
come,  supposing,  that  is,  that  our  Father  Ignatius  approved 
and  had  himself  suggested  the  idea  to  you.  For  he  is  our 
Father,  and  we  must  obey  him,  and  it  would  be  wrong  to 
move  hand  or  foot  without  his  orders. 

Now  I  must  tell  you  of  Diego  Fernandez.  I  saw  him  at 
Goa  in  excellent  health  about  a  month  ago.  He  lives  very 
happily  and  quite  to  his  own  taste  in  the  College  of  Santa  Fe 
with  Master  Diego  de  Borba  and  Don  Paul.  He  works  hard 
and  strenuously  in  the  service  of  God,  and  is  so  happy  in  it, 
that  he  does  not  regret  living  there  nor  working  as  he  does. 
He  told  me  he  was  writing  you  a  long  letter,  and  I  should  be 
strongly  for  your  answering  him,  as  he  loves  you  very  much 
and  is  much  influenced  by  you.  A  letter  from  you  would 
give  him  incredible  pleasure,  especially  if  you  tell  him  that 
you  approve  of  his  living  in  the  College  of  Goa  where  he 
now  is. 

Francis  Manclas  and  I  commend  ourselves  to  your  fervent 
prayers  and  to  those  of  all  our  brothers.  We  are  here  in  these 
countries  at  an  immense  distance,  poor  clients  and  dependents 
of  yours,  and  we  cling  to  your  help  and  protection  as  what  are 

276  .St.  Francis  Xavier. 

to  provide  for  all  our  hopes  and  interests.  It  is  a  work  well 
worthy  of  your  charity, — and  here  I  address  my  letter  to  all  of 
you  together  and  to  each  one  in  particular, — it  is  a  worthy 
work  for  your  goodness  and  piety  to  plead  our  cause  with  God 
most  earnestly  with  prayers  and  sacrifices  kindled  by  a  holy 
sense  of  duty,  and  to  obtain  for  us  the  many  helps  and  bless- 
ings for  body  and  soul  which  we  so  urgently  need,  and  to  get 
for  the  same  intention  the  prayers  of  others  under  your  spi- 
ritual direction.  I  also  beg  you  very  much  and  I  pray  you  for 
the  love  of  God,  write  to  me  ;  or  if  you  cannot  do  it  yourself, 
bid  some  other  of  our  Society  to  write,  but  you  must  all  of 
you  write  at  good  length  ;  not  giving  me  only  heads  and  gene- 
ral facts,  but  particulars  and  minute  details,  telling  me  of  all 
and  each  of  our  brothers  who  are  in  Portugal,  at  Rome  or 
elsewhere.  I  assure  you  that  we  have  nothing  left  in  this  life 
which  does  our  souls  more  good  than  what  we  get  from  such 
letters  when  the  ships  come  in  from  Portugal.  The  letter  that 
I  aai  now  writing  to  our  brothers  at  Rome,  if  it  is  not  too  much 
trouble,  show  to  our  excellent  friend  Pedro  Carvalho,  and  tell 
him  from  me  that  as  I  look  on  him  as  one  of  our  brothers  at 
Rome  and  in  Portugal,  I  consider  the  letters  I  address  to  them 
as  belonging  also  to  him,  and  that  therefore  I  have  not  written 
to  him  separately.  And  I  should  be  glad  if  you  would  make 
all  our  brothers  who  are  with  you  at  Lisbon  understand  the 
same,  that  so  great  is  my  true  love  for  each  one  of  them  that 
I  sliould  have  written  separately  to  each,  if  I  had  not  felt  con- 
fident that  each  would  consider  this  one  letter  as  entirely  his 
own,  and  that  so  it  would  supply  the  place  of  many.  This 
saving  of  time  is  a  benefit  to  them  and  a  necessity  to  me. 

A  long  time  ago,  at  the  request  of  the  Governor,  I  took 
measures  to  have  certain  graces  and  indulgences  asked  for 
irom  Rome,  for  the  great  benefit  of  these  countries,  and  I  am 
writing  concerning  them  this  year  to  his  Highness.  I  entreat 
you,  by  all  the  desire  you  have  for  the  consolation  and  spi- 
ritual progress  of  the  people  out  here,  and  by  all  the  care  you 
have  to  please  and  do  service  to  our  Lord  God,  see  that  his 
Highness  does  not  forget  them,  and  that  he  may  please  to 

Letters  to  Europe,  lyy 

have  the  dispatch  of  these  graces  urged  by  his  ambassador  at 
Rome.  I  wrote  some  years  ago  now,  and  I  have  written  again 
this  year* to  our  Father  Ignatius  to  obtain  from  the  Pope  in 
favour  of  the  high  altar  of  the  church  at  Goa,  which  serves 
for  the  members  of  the  College  of  Santa  Fe,  a  privilege  like 
that  with  which  several  altars  at  Rome  are  distinguished, 
namely,  that  every  time  a  priest  offers  the  holy  sacrifice  there 
he  delivers  a  soul  from  the  flames  of  Purgatory.  And  if  you 
can  yourself  in  any  way  contribute  to  the  accomplishment  of 
this  wish,  you  will  do  a  thing  very  pleasing  to  the  Governor, 
who  earnestly  solicits  the  favour,  and  all  this  venerable  Col- 
lege and  its  founders,  who  so  well  deserve  to  have  their  hopes 

Send  us  all  the  subjects  you  can  into  India.  The  greater 
the  number  the  wider  will  be  the  extension  of  the  limits  of 
holy  Church.  I  have  learnt  by  experience  the  mischief  occa- 
sioned here  from  the  want  of  men  on  fire  with  zeal  for  the  in- 
crease of  the  holy  faith  and  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord, 
and  this  is  why  I  so  often  urge  the  request  that  labourers  may 
be  sent  into  the  field  which  is  already  white  for  the  harvest. 
God,  who  sees  the  inmost  recesses  of  the  soul,  knows  how  I 
long  to  see  you.  It  would  be  an  incredible  joy  to  me  to  press 
you  to  my  heart  and  talk  with  you  face  to  face.  It  cannot 
be  otherwise,  considering  your  virtues  and  the  other  gifts  that 
God  has  so  abundantly  shed  abroad  in  your  soul.  The  hope 
of  reaping  the  fruit  of  these  by  real  and  actual  intercourse 
makes  me  desire  so  very  intensely  to  see  you  again.  If  it  were 
in  accordance  with  the  greater  advantage,  or  even  the  equal 
advantage,  of  the  service  of  God,  that  we  should  be  together 
again,  how  I  should  be  penetrated  with  the  sweetest  possible 
joy,  and  howl  should  delight  in  having  you  here  to  wait  upon, 
God  alone,  who  sees  all  the  secrets  of  our  hearts,  can  truly 

Do  not  allow  any  of  your  friends  to  be  sent  to  India  with 
the  charge  of  looking  after  the  finances  and  affairs  of  the  King. 
To  such  persons  we  may  most  truly  apply  which  is  written — 
'  Let  them  be  blotted  out  of  the  book  of  the  living,  and  let  their 

278  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

name  not  be  written  among  the  just.'^^  However  great  maybe 
your  confidence  in  any  one  whom  you  know  and  love,  trust  my 
experience  and  oppose  him  on  this  point,  and  fight  to  the  last 
to  prevent  him  from  being  exposed  to  this  greatest  of  dangers. 
Otherwise,  unless  he  be  confirmed  in  grace  as  were  the  Apos- 
tles, do  not  expect  to  see  him  persevere  in  his  duty  or  remain 
constant  in  innocency.  There  is  here  a  power,  which  I  may 
call  irresistible,  to  thrust  men  headlong  into  the  abyss,  when 
beside  the  seductions  of  gain,  and  the  easy  opportunities  of 
plunder,  their  appetite  for  greed  will  have  been  sharpened  by 
having  tasted  it,  and  there  will  be  a  whole  torrent  of  bad 
examples  and  evil  customs  to  overwhelm  and  sweep  them  away. 
Robbery  is  so  public  and  common  that  it  hurts  no  one's  cha- 
racter, and  is  hardly  counted  a  fault :  people  scarcely  hesitate 
to  think  that,  what  is  done  with  impunity,  it  cannot  be  bad  to 
do.  Everywhere,  and  at  all  times,  it  is  rapine,  hoarding,  and 
robbery.  No  one  thinks  of  making  restitution  of  what  he  has 
once  taken.  The  devices  by  which  men  steal,  the  various  pre- 
texts under  which  it  is  done,  who  can  count  ?  I  never  cease 
wondering  at  the  number  of  new  inflexions,  which,  in  addi- 
tion to  all  the  usual  forms,  have  been  added,  in  this  new  lingo 
of  avarice,  to  the  conjugation  of  that  illomened  verb  'to  rob.' 
And  when,  in  the  midst  of  it  all,  these  unhappy  men  are  called 
out  of  this  world,  it  is  wretched  to  see  in  what  a  miserable 
state  of  utter  neglect  and  desperate  confusion,  as  to  all  that 
relates  to  their  hopes  of  salvation,  their  poor  souls  have  to 
present  themselves  before  the  inexorable  tribunal. 

Miguel  Vaz,  who  has  been  Vicar  of  the  Bishop  here,  is  go- 
ing to  Lisbon.  You  could  hardly  find  a  man  more  burningly 
and  zealously  devoted  to  the  glory  and  service  of* God.  I  have 
no  doubt  that  you  will  see  him  and  talk  with  him;  and  I  am  sure 
that,  from  the  peace  and  joyfulness  of  soul  which  you  will  re- 
mark in  him,  united  with  so  vehement  a  desire  for  the  glory 
of  God,  you  will  gather  a  knowledge  and  a  just  estimate  of 
his  virtues  and  merits.     You  may  trust  entirely  to  all  he  says, 

^^  Psalm  Ixviii.  29.    Deleantur  de  libro  viventium,  et  cum  justis  non  scri- 
bantur,  (Orig.) 

Letters  to  Europe.  279 

and  I  am  sure  he  will  give  you  a  full  and  ample  account  of 
everything  here.  I  am  writing  to  the  King  about  him,  urging 
him  as  strongly  as  I  can,  for  the  relief  of  my  own  conscience 
and  that  of  his  Highness,  to  send  him  back  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible. He  is  a  man  needed  here  more  than  can  be  told,  for 
he  it  is  who  defends  the  lambs  of  Jesus  Christ  against  the  vio- 
lence and  snares  of  wolves  whom  nothing  will  satisfy.  Miguel 
Vaz  is  a  brave  intrepid  man ;  nothing  ever  prevents  him  from 
raising  his  voice  against  the  persecutors  and  despoilers  of  the 
new  converts  to  the  religion  of  Christ.  If  the  King  were  to 
think  of  sending  some  one  else  here  in  his  place,  where — to 
speak  of  the  very  least  of  his  merits — could  his  Highness  find 
a  person  equally  experienced  in  Indian  affairs,  which  during 
the  last  twelve  years  he  has  not  only  taken  part  in,  but  actu- 
ally directed  ?  Where  would  he  find  any  one  as  much  beloved 
by  the  good,  and  as  much  feared  by  the  bad  ?  Depend  upon 
it,  if  the  King  looks  out  for  any  one  else,  whatever  pains  he 
may  take  in  his  choice,  he  will  run  a  great  risk  of  failing  to 
attain  the  object  he  desires.  So  pray  work,  I  entreat  you, 
with  much  earnestness  upon  his  Highness  to  send  back  Mi- 
guel Vaz  and  no  one  else.     Farewell. 

Your  true  and  most  loving  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Cochin,  January  22d,  1545. 

(xLiv.)  To  the  Society,  at  Rome. 

May  the  ^race  and  love  of  Christ  our  Lord  always  help 
and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

God  knows,  my  dear  brothers,  how  much  more  happy  I 
should  be  to  see  you,  than  to  write  you  this  letter,  which  must 
run  its  chance  as  to  reaching  you  on  account  of  the  distance 
which  divides  us.  For  in  truth  the  Providence  which  has  put 
our  bodies  with  an  almost  infinite  space  between  them,  while 
our  minds  are  all  the  time  most  closely  united,  has  not  loosened 
the  tie  of  affection  which  binds  us  together.  It  is  true,  we  are 
no  longer  living  together  as  we  used  to  live,  but  we  are  almost 

28o  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

perpetually  looking  on  one  another  with  the  eyes  of  the  mind. 
Such  is  the  power  of  true  and  genuine  friendship,  that  absent 
friends  are  present  to  each  other,  and  enjoy  one  another's  pre- 
sence and  conversation  in  heart.  I  know  that  I  am  always 
thinking  of  you  all,  my  brethren,  and  that  I  do  this  is  a  bless- 
ing for  which  I  am  indebted  to  you  rather  than  to  myself;  for 
your  prayers  and  holy  sacrifices  which  you  continually  offer  for 
me,  a  miserable  sinner,  awake  in  me  all  this  tender  remem- 
brance and  longing  for  you.  It  is  you,  my  beloved  brothers, 
it  is  you  who  stamp  on  my  heart  your  own  images ',  and  if  I 
am  so  mindful  of  you,  I  am  ready  to  confess  that  you  are  still 
more  mindful  of  me.  May  God  reward  you  as  you  deserve  ; 
for  I  can  give  you  no  other  satisfaction  than  to  confess  that  I 
can  in  no  way  repay  your  deserts,  for  I  see  very  clearly  how 
much  I  owe  to  every  one  and  all  of  the  Society. 

Now  to  speak  of  what  I  know  you  are  most  anxious  to  hear 
about — the  state  of  religion  in  India.  In  this  region  of  Tra- 
vancore,  where  I  now  am,  God  has  drawn  very  many  to  the 
faith  of  His  Son  Jesus  Christ.  In  the  space  of  one  month  I 
made  Christians  of  more  than  ten  thousand.  This  is  the  method 
I  have  followed.  As  soon  as  I  arrived  in  any  heathen  village 
where  they  had  sent  for  me  to  give  baptism,  I  gave  orders  for 
all,  men,  women,  and  children,  to  be  collected  in  one  place. 
Then,  beginning  with  the  first  elements  of  the  Christian  faith,  I 
taught  them  there  is  one  God — Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost ; 
and  at  the  same  time,  calling  on  The  three  divine  Persons  and 
One  God,  I  made  them  each  make  three  times  the  sign  of  the 
Cross;  then,  putting  on  a  surplice,  I  began  to  recite  in  a  loud 
voice  and  in  their  own  language  the  form  of  general  Confession, 
the  Apostles'  Creed,  the  ten  Commandments,  the  Lord's  Prayer, 
the  Ave  Maria,  and  the  Salve  Regiiia.  Two  years  ago  I  trans- 
lated all  these  prayers  into  the  language  of  the  country,  and 
learned  them  by  heart.  I  recited  them  so  that  all  of  every 
age  and  condition  followed  me  in  them.  Then  I  began  to 
explain  shortly  the  articles  of  the  Creed  and  the  ten  Com- 
mandments in  the  language  of  the  country.  Where  the  people 
appeared  to  me  sufficiently  instructed  to  receive  baptism,  I 

Letters  to  Europe,  28  1 

ordered  them  all  to  ask  God's  pardon  publicly  for  the  sins  of 
their  past  life,  and  to  do  this  with  a  loud  voice  and  in  the 
presence  of  their  neighbours  still  hostile  to  the  Christian  reli- 
gion, in  order  to  touch  the  hearts  of  the  heathen  and  confirm 
the  faith  of  the  good.  All  the  heathen  are  filled  with  admira- 
tion at  the  holiness  of  the  law  of  God,  and  express  the  greatest 
shame  at  having  lived  so  long  in  ignorance  of  the  true  God. 
They  willingly  hear  about  the  mysteries  and  rules  of  the  Chris- 
tian religion,  and  treat  me,  poor  sinner  as  I  am,  with  the  great- 
est respect.  Many,  however,  put  away  from  them  with  hardness 
of  heart  the  truth  which  they  well  know.  When  I  have  done 
my  instruction,  I  ask  one  by  one  all  those  who  desire  baptism 
if  they  believe  without  hesitation  in  each  of  the  articles  of  the 
faith.  All  immediately,  holding  their  arms  in  the  form  of  the 
Cross,  declare  with  one  voice  that  they  believe  all  entirely. 
Then  at  last  I  baptize  them  in  due  form,  and  I  give  to  each 
his  name  written  on  a  ticket.  After  their  baptism  the  new 
Christians  go  back  to  their  houses  and  bring  me  their  wives 
and  families  for  baptism.  When  all  are  baptized  I  order  all 
the  temples  of  their  false  gods  to  be  destroyed  and  all  the 
idols  to  be  broken  in  pieces.  I  can  give  you  no  idea  of  the 
joy  I  feel  in  seeing  this  done,  witnessing  the  destruction  of  the 
idols  by  the  very  people  who  but  lately  adored  them.  In  all 
the  towns  and  villages  I  leave  the  Christian  doctrine  in  writ- 
ing in  the  language  of  the  country,  and  I  prescribe  at  the  same 
time  the  manner  in  which  it  is  to  be  taught  in  the  morning 
and  evening  schools.  When  I  have  done  all  this  in  one  place, 
I  pass  to  another,  and  so  on  successively  to  the  rest.  In  this 
way  I  go  all  round  the  country,  bringing  the  natives  into  the 
fold  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  joy  that  I  feel  in  this  is  far  too 
great  to  be  expressed  in  a  letter,  or  even  by  word  of  mouth. 

The  island  of  Manaar  is  about  150  miles  from  this  place. 
Its  inhabitants  sent  me  some  of  their  people  to  beg  me  to 
go  there  to  baptize  them,  as  they  had  determined  to  become 
Christians.  I  was  occupied  on  affairs  of  the  greatest  import- 
ance, relating  to  the  interests  of  religion,  and  so  could  not  go 
myself;  but  I  persuaded  a  certain  priest  to  go  instead  of  me 

282  5/.  Francis  Xavier. 

and  baptize  as  many  as  possible.  He  had  already  baptized 
a  great  number,  when  the  Rajah  of  Jafanapatam,  under  whose 
dominion  the  island  lies,  most  cruelly  put  to  death  a  large 
number  of  the  converts,  simply  because  they  had  become  Chris- 
tians. Let  us  give  thanks  to  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  that  even 
in  our  time  He  does  not  let  us  lack  martyrs,  and  that  while 
He  sees  so  few  souls  avail  themselves  of  all  His  divine  mercy 
and  indulgence  to  work  out  their  salvation,  He  permits,  in  the 
mystery  of  His  Providence,  that  human  barbarity  should  fill 
up  the  destined  ranks  and  number  of  the  blessed. 

I  have  already  written  you  word  how  great  a  friend  the 
Governor  of  India  is  to  me  and  to  all  the  Society.  He  was 
so  angry  and  hidignant  at  the  horrible  slaughter  of  the  con- 
verts, that  as  soon  as  I  began  to  speak  to  him  about  it,  he 
ordered  a  powerful  fleet  to  be  fitted  out  for  the  destruction  of 
the  tyrant,  and  I  was  obliged  myself  to  restrain  the  warmth  of 
his  most  righteous  indignation.  This  same  Rajah  who  has  put 
the  Christians  to  death  has  a  brother,  the  legitimate  heir  to 
the  crown,  who  lives  in  exile  for  fear  of  his  brother's  cruelty. 
This  prince  has  promised  that,  if  he  is  put  in  possession  of  his 
dominions  by  the  Governor,  he  will  become  Christian  as  well 
as  the  principal  persons  of  his  kingdom.  The  Governor  has 
given  orders  to  his  officers  to  restore  him  to  the  throne  if  he 
embrace  the  Christian  religion,  and  to  put  to  death  the  Rajah 
who  persecuted  the  converts,  or  to  treat  him  as  I  shall  think 
proper.  I  do  not  doubt  that  the  prayers  of  the  converts  whom 
he  has  rendered  martyrs  may  win  for  him  the  grace  to  acknow- 
ledge his  wickedness  and  blindness,  and  that  after  doing  a 
wholesome  penance  he  may  obtain  pardon  from  God  for  so 
much  crime  and  barbarity. 

The  island  of  Ceylon,  whither  I  lately  went  with  Francis 
Mancias,  is  about  120  miles  distant  from  the  Indian  continent; 
there  a  prince,  son  of  one  of  the  Rajahs,  had  resolved  to  become 
Christian.  When  the  Rajah  heard  of  his  intention  he  had  him 
put  to  death.  The  persons  present  at  his  execution  declare 
that  they  saw  a  cross  of  fire  in  the  heavens,  and  that  on  the 
spot  where  he  was  slain  the  earth  opened  in  the  form  of  a 

Letters  to  Europe,  283 

cross.  They  add,  that  many  of  the  inhabitants  at  the  sight 
of  these  prodigies  became  disposed  to  embrace  the  Christian 
faith.  A  brother  of  the  prince  I  have  mentioned,  touched  by 
these  marvellous  events,  persuaded  a  certain  priest  to  give  him 
baptism.  He  has  now  taken  refage  with  the  Governor  of 
India  in  order  to  ask  his  assistance  against  the  Rajah  who 
killed  his  brother.  I  met  and  talked  with  this  prince  in  the 
course  of  his  journey,  and  I  have  great  hope,  from  what  he 
said,  of  seeing  that  kingdom  before  long  embrace  the  faith  of 
Jesus  Christ.  The  people  are  strongly  moved  by  the  prodigies 
and  signs  which  have  taken  place;  and  the  prince  who  has 
lately  become  a  Christian  is  the  heir  to  the  throne. 

In  the  kingdom  of  Macazar,  about  500  leagues  distant 
from  Travancore,  three  of  the  chief  princes  and  many  of  the 
other  inhabitants  came  into  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  eight 
months  ago.  They  have  sent  messengers  to  Malacca,  a  city 
belonging  to  the  King  of  Portugal,  to  ask  for  persons  able  to 
instruct  them  in  the  law  of  God ;  and  have  declared  that, 
having  lived  hitherto  like  animals  without  reason,  they  intend 
for  the  future  to  live  like  men,  as  soon  as  they  shall  have  re- 
ceived the  knowledge  and  religion  of  the  true  God.  The  Com- 
mandant of  Malacca  has  sent  them  some  priests  who  are  to 
instruct  them.  You  may  judge  from  this  alone,  my  very  dear 
brothers,  what  great  and  what  fertile  harvests  this  uncultivated 
field  promises  to  produce.  This  part  of  the  world  is  so  ready, 
so  teeming  with  shooting  corn,  as  I  may  say,  that  I  hope  within 
this  very  year  to  make  as  many  as  a  hundred  thousand  Chris- 
tians. Fray  the  Lord  of  the  harvest  that  He  seiid forth  labotirers 
into  His  harvest?^  If  any  persons  come  to  these  countries, 
where  the  fields  are  already  white  unto  the  harvest,'^  in 
the  desire  of  extending  the  worship  of  God  and  propagating 
religion,  they  will  be  received  not  only  courteously  but  with 
real  affection  by  the  Portuguese,  so  that  they  will  have  all 
necessaries  supplied  them  in  abundance.  The  Portuguese 
nation  is  in  fact  so  desirous  of  the  extension  of  the  Christian 

^5^  rotate  Dominum  messis,  ut  mittat  operarios  in  messem  suam.   (Orig.) 
18  ubi  campijam  stint  alhi  ad  messem.    (Orig.) 

284  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

faith,  that  if  there  was  no  other  motive,  this  pious  zeal  of 
theirs  and  their  great  friendliness  to  our  Society  ought  certainly 
to  draw  many  of  you  hither.  And  now  what  ought  you  to  do 
when  you  see  the  minds  of  these  people  so  well  prepared  to 
receive  the  seed  of  the  Gospel  ?  May  God  make  known  to 
you  His  most  holy  will,  and  give  you  at  the  same  time  strength 
and  courage  to  carry  it  out ;  and  may  He  in  His  Providence 
send  as  many  as  possible  of  you  into  this  country ! 

The  least  and  most  lonely  of  your  brothers, 


From  Cochin,  January  27th,  1545. 

We  needliardly  make  much  commentary  on  the  earlier  para- 
graphs of  this  last  letter.  There  is  the  same  immense  over- 
flowing tenderness  of  heart  in  the  passage  in  which  St.  Francis 
speaks  of  his  constant  memory  of  his  distant  brethren.  The  ac- 
count of  the  work  in  Travancore  shows  us  that  he  kept  to  his 
usual  and  most  laborious  method  in  evangelizing  that  new  tract 
of  country,  and  we  may  fairly  gather  from  it  that  the  work  was  al- 
most complete,  at  least  as  to  the  foundation  of  the  new  Churches. 
The  affairs  of  Manaar  and  Ceylon  have  already  been  specially 
mentioned.  The  last  paragraph  of  the  letter,  however,  refers 
to  some  events  which  had  a  very  great  influence  on  the  course 
of  St.  Francis'  labours  in  the  East,  and  the  thoughts  which 
they  suggested  to  him  as  the  direction  of  his  future  career  had 
been  now  for  some  time  working  in  his  mind.  The  whole 
story,  like  that  of  the  expedition  against  Jafanapatam,  is  thor- 
oughly characteristic  of  the  times  and  of  the  proceedings  of 
the  Portuguese  in  the  East,  and  deserves  to  be  given  almost 
as  we  find  it  in  the  old  annalists  of  their  empire. 

The  island  that  Francis  Xavier  calls  Macazar  is  that  which 
is  now  known  generally  by  the  name  of  Celebes,  Macazar  or 
Macassar  being  the  name  of  one  of  many  small  kingdoms  or 
territories  into  which  it  was  divided.  Portuguese  traders  had 
for  some  years  visited  it  for  purposes  of  traffic,  the  sandal- 
wood and  other  productions  of  the  island  being  much  in  re- 
quest among  them.  St.  Francis  mentions  eight  months  before 
the  date  of  his  letter  as  the  time  at  which  the  conversions  of 

Tidings  jrom  Macazar,  285 

which  he  speaks  took  place.  They  were  brought  about  by  a 
captain  named  Antonio  de  Payva,  who  was  in  charge  of  a  ship 
belonging  to  Rodrigo  Vaz  Pereira.  It  appears  that  Payva  had 
some  time  before  made  the  acquaintance  of  the  petty  King  of 
Sian,  which  is  called  by  some  one  of  the  territories  of  Macazar, 
by  others  a  separate  island,'9  and  had  begun  to  talk  with  him 
on  matters  of  religion.  But  he  had  to  sail  away  without  having 
finished  the  King's  conversion.  On  a  later  voyage  he  came 
to  Supa,  a  port  of  Celebes,  the  capital  of  another  small  king- 
dom. The  King  of  Supa  was  an  old  man  of  seventy,  who 
came  down  to  the  sea  to  meet  the  Portuguese  merchant,  with 
a  youth  the  heir  to  his  throne  and  a  court  of  thirty  ladies, 
splendidly  dressed  and  loaded  with  jewels.  Payva  accepted 
his  hospitality,  and  before  long  began  to  talk  about  religion, 
a  subject  very  much  discussed  in  those  parts  at  that  time,  as 
the  Mussulmans  of  Java  were  endeavouring  to  induce  the 
Malay  princes  to  adopt  the  creed  of  Mahomet.  The  King 
asked  Payva  why  the  Christians  hated  the  Mussulmans  so 
much,  and  received  in  answer  an  instruction  on  the  filthy 
sensuality  of  the  Mahometan  law,  and  the  purity  and  holiness 
of  the  Gospel. 

Payva  then  left  the  old  King  half  persuaded,  and  sailed 
away  to  his  former  friend  at  Sian.  Here,  as  we  are  told,  he 
had  a  long  discussion,  first  as  to  what  was  meant  by  holiness, 
and  then  as  to  what  was  a  lie.  Payva's  speech  on  this  latter 
question  is  singularly  characteristic.  He  told  the  King  that  he 
would  tell  him  the  truth  with  all  the  openness  and  sincerity 
which  were  due  to  the  sublime  nature  of  the  religious  subjects 
on  which  they  were  discoursing,  and  also  to  a  prince  so  highly 
gifted  with  good  qualities  as  himself.  To  lie  to  a  King,  who 
represented  God  on  earth,  was  to  lie  to  God,  and  God  would 
not  so  far  abandon  him  as  to  let  him  do  this.  He  would 
speak  out  of  obedience  and  a  sense  of  duty — only,  let  the  King 
promise  him  one  thing,— that  if  he  made  him  angry  by  what 
he  should  say,  that  anger  might  fall  on  himself  and  not  on  his 
innocent  companions.  He  might  freely  risk  his  own  life,  but 
19  There  is  an  island,  Siao,  not  far  to  the  northeast  of  Celebes. 

286  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

not  theirs,  although  they  would  all  die  gloriously  in  an  attempt 
to  bring  about  the  salvation  of  the  King  and  his  people.  After 
receiving  the  pledge  he  required,  Payva  said  boldly  that  the 
best  instance  of  a  lie  which  he  could  name  was  the  religion 
which  the  King  and  his  subjects  professed,  in  which  devils, 
the  authors  of  all  evil  since  the  beginning  of  the  world,  were 
worshipped  instead  of  the  true  God,  the  sacrifices  and  rites 
of  which  were  abominable,  as  well  as  false,  the  doctrine  more 
fabulous  than  the  merest  dream,  and  the  manners  taught  by 
which  were  more  fit  for  wild  beasts  than  for  men ;  and  all  the 
while  they  had  no  knowledge  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  the 
living  God,  the  Way,  the  Truth,  and  the  Life ;  and  their  whole 
existence  was  so  encompassed  and  penetrated  with  lying,  that 
they  asked  what  it  was,  as  a  thing  which  they  knew  not.  Jesus 
Christ  was  the  Truth,  and  the  King's  religion  was  a  lie.  It 
seems  that  at  the  time  of  Payva's  visit  the  island  was  in  want 
of  rain,  after  a  long  drought,  and  while  he  was  speaking  the 
sky  became  overclouded,  and  one  of  |the  violent  rainstorms 
of  the  tropics,  with  thunder  and  lightning,  came  on.  It  was 
looked  on  as  a  sign  from  heaven  that  Payva's  words  were  true. 
While  the  King  was  still  hesitating,  a  fleet  arrived  in  the 
harbour,  which  at  first  caused  some  alarm,  as  it  was  well  armed 
and  numerous :  but  it  turned  out  to  be  the  fleet  of  the  King 
of  Supa,  who  had  come  with  a  large  court  to  seek  for  Payva. 
He  asked  whether  the  King  of  Sian  had  been  baptized,  and 
was  told  that  he  had  taken  time  to  consider.  A  thing  so  im- 
portant as  the  salvation  of  the  soul,  he  answered,  was  not  to 
be  put  off,  and  he  asked  himself  to  be  baptized  at  once.  The 
Portuguese  had  no  priest  with  them,  so  the  oldest  man  bap- 
tized him  by  the  name  of  Don  Luis :  his  queen  followed  his 
example,  with  a  large  number  of  the  nobles  and  soldiers  in 
her  train ;  and  the  ceremony  of  baptism  was  accompanied  by 
the  discharge  of  all  the  artillery,  by  music,  and  all  the  other 
resources  of  oriental  feast-keeping.  The  example  of  the  court 
of  Supa  was  irresistible  to  that  of  Sian,  and  the  King  with  a 
large  following  was  baptized,  taking  the  name  of  Don  Juan  or 
Joam,  after  the  King  of  Portugal.     *So,'  says  Faria  y  Sousa, 

Tidings  from  Macazar.  287 

*two  Courts  and  two  Kings  at  the  same  time  placed  their 
necks,  untamed  throughout  so  many  centuries,  under  the  sweet 
yoke  of  Christ,  by  one  of  the  most  rare  and  unexpected  means 
which  that  divine  husbandry  ever  made  gain  by.  So  did  Antonio 
de  Payva,  passing  from  his  profane  trafficking  to  a  so  illus 
trious  and  abundant  merchandise,  come  to  make  himself  the 
fellow  of  the  sacred  Evangelist  Matthew,  who  had  the  wit  from 
being  a  man  of  trade  to  change  himself  to  an  Apostle. '^o 

The  newly  converted  princes  sent,  as  St.  Francis  tells  us, 
to  the  Governor  of  Malacca  for  priests  to  instruct  them,  and 
the  tidings  of  this  application  had  reached  Xavier  some  time, 
as  it  appears,  after  his  arrival  at  Cochin  on  his  way  to  meet 
the  Governor  at  Cambaia.  These  tidings  seem  to  have  fallen 
upon  him  wdth  the  vv^eight  of  a  providential  intimation  that  it 
was  for  him  to  undertake  the  farther  conversion  and  instruc- 
tion of  the  people  of  Macazar — a  work  which  had  many  attrac- 
tions in  itself,  as  the  natives  of  Celebes  were  Malays,  and 
there  was  as  yet  no  mixture  of  false  religions  among  them, 
Mahometanism  not  having  as  yet  taken  root ;  moreover,  there 
seemed,  as  we  shall  find  farther  on,  a  chance  that  the  good 
done  by  the  missionary  would  not  be  frustrated  and  spoiled  by 
the  misconduct  of  any  Portuguese  officials.  The  coming  of  the 
new  Fathers  from  Europe  gave  him  an  opportunity  of  supplying 
the  missions  of  Travancore  and  the  Fishery  Coast  with  priests, 
so  that  his  own  presence  was  no  longer  absolutely  necessary. 
Perhaps,  too,  he  felt  that  until  Miguel  Vaz  should  return  and 
bring  with  him  the  strict  injunctions  and  measures  of  retribu- 
tion which  were  so  urgently  needed,  he  himself  would  labour 
with  httle  hope  of  effecting  permanent  good  in  the  continent  of 
India.  When  we  look  at  the  remainder  of  his  Apostolate  in 
the  East,  we  can  see  how  his  voyage  to  Malacca  and  his  de- 
signs on  Macazar  led  him  on  in  the  end  to  Japan  and  to  the 

20  Asia  Portu^uesa,  t.  ii.  p.  i.  cap.  13.  Bartoli,  Asia,  t.  i.  p.  88,  tells  the 
story  rather  differently  from  Faria  y  Sousa,  but  the  substance  is  the  same.  In 
his  account  the  speech  about  lying  is  addressed  to  the  Kingof  Supa,  and  Payva, 
in  his  last  discourse  to  the  King  of  Sian,  dwells  particularly  on  the  beauty  of 
Christian  works  of  mercy.    The  rainstorm,  also,  is  omitted  by  Bartoli. 

288  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

coast  of  China,  and  how  the  news  of  the  success  of  Antonio 
de  Payva  was,  in  fact,  a  turning  point  in  his  career.  But  the 
matter  as  yet  presented  itself  to  him  only  as  an  uncertain 
prompting,  and  it  was  long  before  the  light  fully  dawned  on 
his  soul  which  made  it  clear  to  him  that  it  was  the  will  of  God 
that  he  should  now  proceed  farther  eastward. 

Francis  sailed  for  Negapatam,  taking  Ceylon,  Manaar,  and 
a  small  island  called  De  las  Vaccas,  near  Manaar,  in  his  way, 
not  long  after  the  date  of  the  letter  which  we  have  last  in- 
serted. The  voyage  to  Ceylon  was  signalized  by  another  won- 
derful conversion.  This  time  it  was  the  pilot  of  the  vessel;  a 
man  who  had  for  years  led  a  licentious  life,  neglecting  in  con- 
sequence the  sacraments ;  he  had  two  mistresses  on  board  the 
ship  during  this  very  voyage.  Francis  won  his  heart  by  kind 
familiar  conversation,  talking  to  him  on  the  subjects  connected 
with  his  business,  the  weather,  the  stars,  and  the  like,  leaving 
the  poor  man  himself  to  begin  to  speak  on  religion.  At  last 
the  pilot  opened  his  heart  to  him,  and  told  him  how  long  he 
had  been  without  confession,  promising  to  approach  the  sacra- 
ments as  soon  as  they  got  to  land.  When  the  time  came — it 
is  not  certain  whether  it  was  at  Colombo  or  at  Galle — he  re- 
pented of  his  promise,  and  avoided  the  sight  of  the  Father.  He 
met  him,  however,  by  chance,  on  the  shore,  and  rather  out  of 
shame  than  any  better  feeling,  asked  him  when  he  would  hear 
his  confession.  Francis  told  him  to  begin  at  once,  and  they 
paced  up  and  down  for  a  time,  while  the  pilot  confessed  some 
of  his  sins  in  a  perfunctory  way,  without,  however,  being  in- 
terrupted or  reproved.  Grace  meanwhile  was  working  in  his 
heart,  and  he  began  to  be  pierced  with  true  contrition.  Then 
Francis  led  him  aside  into  a  little  chapel,  brought  him  a  cushion 
or  mat  to  kneel  upon,  and  helped  him  to  make  a  thorough  and 
perfect  confession,  which  led  to  an  entire  change  of  his  life.-^ 

21  The  Processes  relate  two  celebrated  miracles  of  St.  Francis  at  this  time. 
He  raised  a  child  to  life  on  the  island  De  las  Vaccas,  When  he  landed  at  Ma- 
naar a  pestilence  was  raging,  and  about  a  hundred  died  everyday.  The  people 
came  to  beg  him  to  pray  for  them.  He  retired  for  three  days,  which  he  spent 
in  prayer,  after  which  the  pestilence  ceased. 

Negapatam,  289 


When  he  arrived  at  Negapatam,  Francis  found  the  Portu- 
guese armament  almost  ready  to  sail,  but  the  expedition  was 
put  an  end  to  by  a  strange  accident.  A  Portuguese  vessel, 
richly  laden  with  merchandise  from  Pegu,  ran  ashore  on  the 
coast  of  Jafanapatam,  and  was  at  once  seized  by  the  Rajah- 
The  Portuguese  officers  at  Negapatam  were  either  interested 
themselves  in  the  cargo  or  had  friends  whose  money  had  been 
staked  in  it,  and  they  thought  of  nothing  for  the  jnoment  but 
of  recovering  it  from  the  Rajah  by  negotiations.  He  was  pro- 
bably glad  enough  to  buy  them  off  so  easily ;  at  all  events,  the 
expedition  was  abandoned.  It  is  probable  that  the  unpopu- 
larity of  the  Governor,  of  which  we  hear  much  in  the  annalists, 
and  the  want  of  real  Christian  zeal  on  the  part  of  many  of  the 
officers,  had  much  to  do  with  the  failure  of  the  enterprize. 

It  does  not  seem  to  have  been  finally  abandoned  when  the 
following  letter  —  the  last  of  the  series  to  Mancias,  now  a 
priest  in  charge  of  the  Travancore  mission — was  written  from 

(xLV.)  To  Father  Francis  Mancias. 

My  dearest  Father  and  Brother, 

God,  the  witness  and  judge  of  my  inmost  feelings, 
knows  how  far  rather  I  would  talk  with  you  face  to  face 
than  write  to  you  from  a  distance,  for  so  I  could  more  fully 
and  diligently  give  you  by  word  of  mouth  the  form  and  method 
hich  you  should  use  in  your  work  and  your  conduct  in 
e  country  where  you  are,  so  as  duly  to  discharge  the  grave 
uties  incumbent  upon  you  of  doing  service  to  our  Lord  God 
y  the  right  administration  of  that  newly  founded  Church,  and 
by  watchfully  keeping  guard  on  every  side  and  in  every  way 
over  the  tender  flock  of  Christians  newly  gathered  into  the 
fold  of  Christ  which  is  committed  to  your  care.  But  now  I 
mean  to  give  you  hints  about  all  this  in  a  few  words,  in  the 
best  manner  that  I  can,  for  I  am  quite  uncertain  what  is  before 
me,  and  so  I  am  bound  to  snatch  whatever  opportunity  I  can 
get  of  giving  you  counsel. 

VOL.  I.  u 

290  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

May  our  Lord  grant  us  soon  what  we  so  ardently  desire, 
and  have  been  long  waiting  for — some  certain  indication  of 
His  most  holy  will  as  to  the  work  and  the  place  in  which  He 
desires  that  I  should  employ  myself  with  the  greatest  useful- 
ness to  the  interests  of  His  divine  service  !  We  hang  upon  His 
nod,  and  by  His  grace  are  entirely  disposed  to  follow  out  at 
once  what  and  whatsoever  it  may  be  to  which  He  may  show 
that  His  will  inclines.  He  has  sometimes  wonderful  means  of 
manifesting  His  will, — secret  touches,  which  pierce  the  depths 
of  the  soul  and  flood  it  with  light  from  heaven,  so  that  the  soul 
which  is  struck  by  these  divine  beams  can  feel  no  doubt  at  all 
where  God  desires  it  to  go  and  what  work  to  undertake.  "  It 
has  been  most  truly  said  of  mortals  such  as  we  are  in  this  life, 
that,  in  order  to  acquit  themselves  of  what  is  required  of  their 
state  and  condition,  they  ought  to  be  as  strangers  and  travel- 
lers, who  are  entangled  by  no  attachment  to  place  or  thing 
which  might  prevent  them  from  flitting  freely  hither  or  thi- 
ther, and  starting  up  in  all  readiness  at  a  moment's  notice 
whithersoever  the  purpose  of  their  journey  and  the  object  in 
which  their  hopes  are  summed  up  may  invite.  Just  in  this 
way  we,  first  of  all,  ought  to  have  our  minds  prepared,  to  be 
standing  with  girt  loins,  glowing  with  alacrity  for  either  of 
different  and  even  contrary  occupations  or  scenes  of  labour, 
equally  disposed  to  obey  any  yet  uncertain  command,  and  to 
fly  whithersoever  we  may  be  directed  by  the  indication  of  the 
will  of  Him  Who  sends  us.  East,  west,  north,  or  south,  all 
are  the  same :  the  single  thing  in  all  that  has  to  be  noticed  as 
making  any  difl'erence  in  our  choice  being  the  consideration 
which  we  see  of  more  or  less  opportunity  promised  us  of  ad- 
vancing God's  honour  most  usefully  and  most  conspicuously. 

I  learn  from  certain  information  that  a  great  door  is  opened 
to  the  Gospel  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Malacca,  and  that  a  field 
is  there  to  be  found  in  which  it  seems  that  any  industry  of  ours 
may  give  itself  full  course,  with  the  most  probable  hope  of  see- 
ing great  rewards  for  its  labour  in  the  service  of  God.  They  say 
the  harvest  is  ripe  and  only  wants  reapers ;  that  it  is  certain 
that  the  only  reason  why  great  numbers  out  there  do  not  adopt 

Negapatam,  291 

the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  is  because  no  one  calls  them  to  it. 
I  confess  the  opportunity  of  increasing  the  kingdom  of  Jesus 
Christ  and  extending  the  boundaries  of  the  Church  has  a  most 
fascinating  attraction  for  me ;  but  I  am  detained  here  by  this 
affair  of  Jafanapatam,  the  issue  of  which  still  hangs  in  doubt. 
This  is  the  only  difficulty  which  prevents  my  making  up  my 
mind  to  go  to  Malacca,  and  if  time  shall  settle  it — I  was  in 
hopes  it  would  be  settled  in  the  course  of  this  next  May — I 
shall  go  thither  at  once,  and  if  then  I  can  see  for  certain  that 
God  wishes  to  use  my  work  in  the  island  of  Macazar, — where  it 
is  said  that  many  persons  have  lately  become  Christians,  and 
as  letters  inform  us,  the  king  of  the  place  himself  has  asked  for 
preachers  of  the  Gospel  from  Malacca,  whom  I  am  afraid  he 
may  not  have  been  able  to  get,  for  I  think  there  are  no  fit 
persons  to  be  found  there, — I  say,  if  I  make  up  my  mind  before 
the  end  of  May  to  go  to  Malacca,  I  shall  not  sail  without 
having  dispatched  a  message  to  my  Lord  Governor,  to  let  him 
know  my  resolution,  and  to  ask  for  letters  of  introduction  to 
the  Commandant  of  Malacca,  ordering  him  to  assist  and  further 
our  work  in  whatever  way  we  want  his  help  in  serving  God  our 
Lord  in  the  conversion  of  those  nations.  If  these  things  fall 
out  as  I  have  arranged,  and  it  should  be  necessary  for  me  to 
sail  to  Macazar,  I  shall  still  not  embark  without  writing  to  you 
from  Malacca,  and  informing  you  of  the  whole  matter. 

Meantime  I  beg  you  not  to  lose  heart  or  to  let  your  cour- 
age be  worn  out,  and  never  slacken  your  efforts  in  the  long  and 
toilsome  work  of  cultivating  those  poor  ignorant  people  where 
you  are.  Keep  on  going  round  the  villages,  preach  to  the 
people  every  day,  and  especially  be  most  diligent  in  your  vigil- 
ance to  leave  no  newborn  infants  unbaptized.  Pay  the  great- 
est attention  everywhere  to  the  instruction  of  the  children  in 
the  day  schools  of  the  Christian  doctrine,  and  take  constant 
care  to  make  the  masters  who  are  set  over  them  do  their  duty 
with  the  greatest  faithfulness.  You  will  receive  from  Joam  de 
Cruz  2000  fanams,  a  sum  which  he  has  collected  to  be  applied 
to  instructing  the  children.  Ask,  also,  Father  Joam  de  Lizana 
to  give  you  the  sum  of  money  which  you  left  with  him,  destined 

2 92  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

to  the  same  purpose ;  and  if  anywhere  you  find  it  necessary, 
set  up  new  schools  or  repair  the  old,  taking  all  pains  and  care 
that  in  every  single  village  and  hamlet  in  the  whole  coast  the 
children  are  constantly  taught  the  elements  of  the  Christian 
doctrine,  and  the  prayers  which  they  ought  to  know  by  heart. 
Do  not  fix  your  own  dwelling  place  or  even  stay  long  anywhere, 
but  constantly  visit  over  and  over  again  all  the  churches,  as  I 
used  to  do  when  I  was  in  this  country.  And  be  quite  certain 
that  in  this  way  of  action  you  will  gain  great  favour  with  God. 

When  I  was  at  Munahpaud  I  learned  the  mischief  that  had 
been  done  to  the  church  of  that  place,  and  I  made  an  exact 
calculation  of  the  sums  necessary  to  repair  it.  Diego  Rebello 
must  be  applied  to  for  this  money,  in  whose  hands  I  have 
placed  2 GOO  fanams,  which  the  Rajah  of  Travancore  gave  me 
for  building  Christian  churches  in  his  states.  Father  Francis 
Coelho  has  already  spent  a  part  of  this  sum.  He  can  tell  you 
himself  how  much  it  is.  Those  other  2000  fanams  in  the  hands 
of  Joam  de  Cruz  are  to  be  spent,  as  long  as  they  last,  solely 
for  masters  and  schools.  And  I  seem  to  myself  never  to  have 
said  enough  about  one  thing,  and  this  it  is  which  I  wish  you 
above  all  else  to  take  care  to  do  most  constantly  and  most 
diligently — I  mean  the  perpetual  going  round  all  the  villages, 
one  after  another,  never  omitting  to  preach  the  word  of  God 
and  to  administer  the  sacraments,  as  you  find  the  people, 
wherever  you  go,  to  need  them  ;  and  I  do  not  commit  to  your 
charge  the  laity  alone,  but  the  priests  and  clergy  who  have 
been  ordained  from  among  the  Malabars.  Look  up  these  first 
of  all,  give  them  serious  admonitions,  and  make  use  of  any 
means  which  circumstances  may  require  to  make  them  live  in 
piety  and  chastity,  exercising  their  ministry  for  the  glory  of 
God,  and  giving  wholesome  examples  of  innocence  and  virtue 
to  the  people. 

I  forgot,  as  to  Joam  de  Lizana,  to  tell  you  to  deduct  from 
the  sum  he  has  in  his  hands  and  which  you  are  to  ask  him  for, 
a  hundred  fanams  which  he  lent  me  when  you  were  at  Panical, 
and  which  I  spent  on  the  ordinary  service  of  the  churches 
and  catechetical  lessons.     You  must  therefore  deduct  this  sum 

Negapatam,  293 

from  the  amount  of  the  funds  set  apart  for  the  expenses  of  the 
schools.  I  moreover  enjoin  you  to  avoid  most  scrupulously- 
employing  for  any  other  purpose,  however  good,  the  money 
collected  for  the  salaries  of  the  catechists  and  teachers. 

I  am  rather  afraid  you  may  be  angry  with  me,  as  if  I  dis- 
trusted your  memory,  and  so  went  on  for  ever  thrusting  on  you 
the  same  advice  over  and  over  again.  But  you  must  forgive  my 
anxiety,  which  may  perhaps  go  beyond  measure,  and  make  me 
more  careful  than  I  need  be  in  my  overflowing  desire  to  secure 
what  I  want,  and  take  in  good  part  that  I  again  most  urgently 
beg  of  you  always  to  give  the -first  place  in  your  care  to  those 
two  heads  which  I  most  earnestly  commend  to  you,  as  matters 
which  in  my  judgment  are  of  the  very  highest  moment.  The 
first  relates  to  your  going  perpetually  round  and  round  to  visit 
the  villages  most  assiduously,  and  without  giving  yourself  any 
rest  or  stopping  long  anywhere;  everywhere  baptizing  new- 
born infants,  and  instructing  or  providing  for  the  instruction 
of  the  elder  children  who  are  capable  of  being  taught.  The 
second  has  reference  to  the  sharp  and  careful  vigilance  to 
which  I  wish  you  to  devote  yourself  in  searching  out  the 
conduct  of  the  native  clerics  of  Malabar,  and  the  example 
which  they  set  the  people ;  lest  they  not  only  incur  eternal 
damnation  themselves,  but  draw  others  also  with  them  to 
hell.  If  you  find  anything  wrong  in  them,  put  it  down  at 
once,  for  God's  sake,  and  chastise  them  quickly  and  severely ; 
for  if  we  were  to  let  the  full  powers  which  we  have  for  this 
remain  unused,  like  a  sword  in  its  scabbard,  when  occasion 
urged  us  to  punish  very  serious  offences  against  God,  especially 
when  there  is  cause  of  scandal  to  many,  it  would  be  imputed 
to  us  as  a  great  crime  hardly  to  be  expiated  by  much  punish- 

Do  all  you  can  to  help  Cosmo  de  Payva  to  rid  his  con- 
science of  the  burthen  of  the  many  thefts  and  acts  of  rapine 
by  which  he  has  so  licentiously  made  the  whole  coast  full  of 
his  deeds  of  violence,  as  also  the  exactions,  the  criminal 
acts  and  murders  which  were  committed  at  Tuticorin  on  ac- 
count of  his  unbridled  avarice.     Go  and  see  him  in  private, 

294  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

and  show  him  kindly  how  much  it  concerns  his  honour  to 
make  restitution  of  the  money  which  he  extorted  from  the  poor 
wretches  whom  the  Portuguese  put  to  death.  I  would  write 
to  him  myself  if  I  had  any  hope  that  the  fruit  of  my  doing  so 
would  be  any  amendment  in  him.  But  I  wish  you  to  tell  him 
in  my  name  that  I  can  never  cease  from  the  duty  incumbent 
upon  me,  of  making  known  to  the  King  and  to  the  Lord 
Governor  of  India,  by  letter  or  word  of  mouth,  his  most  wicked,  that  they  may  punish  him  as  he  deserves ;  and  also 
of  applying  to  Prince  Don  Henry,  the  President  of  the  Holy 
Tribunal  for  Capital  Questions  in  Religion,^^  that  in  virtue  of 
his  supreme  authority  in  foro  ecclesiastico  he  act  against  him 
according  to  law,  as  one  who  hinders  the  conversion  of  the 
heathen  by  barbarously  persecuting  the  converts  who  have 
lately  received  the  holy  law  and  faith  of  Jesus  Christ;  and  add 
at  the  end  that  there  is  only  one  way  of  closing  my  mouth 
and  averting  the  severe  punishments  which  are  on  the  point 
of  overtaking  him.  This  way  is  a  speedy  and  conspicuous  re- 
pentance, showing  itself  in  works  which  may  satisfy  the  public 
scandal  he  has  caused,  by  restoring  at  once  all  his  ill  acquired 
treasures,  and  giving  the  other  public  proofs,  such  as  our  Chris- 
tian discipline  exacts,  that  he  sincerely  repents  and  condemns 
his  past  crimes,  and  promises  to  lead  an  innocent  life  for  the 

If  Joam  d'Artiaga  is  still  on  the  coast,  it  is  my  wish  you 
should  not  allow  him  to  reside  there  any  longer ;  and  in  order 
to  oblige  him  to  go  away,  you  will  give  strict  charge  to  Cosmo 
de  Pay  va  not  to  remit  any  more  money  for  his  support,  at  least 
from  any  funds  that  would  be  charged  to  our  account,  because 
we  do  not  consider  it  expedient  that  he  should  stay  any  longer 
in  the  country.  Receive  with  all  hospitality  Vasco  Fernandez, 
who  will  deliver  this  letter  to  you,  for  I  hope  from  the  good- 
ness of  God,  which  has  already  begun  to  shed  on  him  singular 
graces,  that  some  day  he  will  make  one  of  our  Society.  He 
is  a  young  man  of  excellent  conduct,  and  burning  with  great 
desires  of  serving  God  with  generosity ;  and  how  right  it  is 
22  The  Holy  Office. 

'Negapatam,  295 

for  us  to  help  on  and  encourage  such  with  all  our  might,  I  am 
sure  you  will  understand  of  yourself,  even  if  I  do  not  tell  you. 
I  expect  to  receive  full  and  careful  letters  from  you,  telling  me 
at  good  length  all  particulars,  how  your  health  is,  how  you 
succeed  in  your  work,  whether  the  Cliristians  whom  you  have 
the  care  of  are  making  progress  and  how  far,  whether  Cosmo 
de  Payva  has  at  all  come  to  a  better  mind,  and  whether  he 
has  given  back  what  he  took  away  to  the  Christians  whom  he 
has  robbed.  May  God  our  Lord  be  with  you  all,  to  give  you 
all  the  aid  that  I  desire  from  Him  for  myself!  Farewell. 
Your  brother  in  Jesus  Christ, 


From  Negapatam,  April  7th,  1545. 

This  letter  to  Mancias — the  last  which  remains  to  us  of 
those  addressed  to  him  by  Francis  Xavier,  and  perhaps  the 
last  that  was  actually  so  addressed — is  remarkable  on  many 
accounts.  It  was  written  after  the  abandonment  of  the  expe- 
dition against  Jafanapatam,  of  which,  however,  Xavier  seems 
to  have  been  so  reluctant  to  give  up  all  hopes  that  he  speaks 
as  if  it  were  still  undecided.  We  find  him  saying,  in  the  letter 
immediately  following  this,  that  he  had  been  prevented  from 
returning  to  the  Fishery  Coast  or  Travancore  from  Negapatam 
by  the  unfavourable  winds,  and  that  he  had  taken  the  impos- 
sibility of  saiUng  westward  as  an  intimation  from  above,  and 
determined  to  visit  Meliapor,  or  the  city  of  St.  Thomas,  to  seek 
for  light  from  heaven  at  the  shrine  of  the  first  Apostle  of  India. 
He  says  nothing  to  Mancias  about  the  causes  of  the  failure  of 
the  expedition,  but  we  may  guess  that  he  did  not  think  of  re- 
turning to  the  parts  in  which  Mancias  was  labouring,  by  the 
urgency  of  his  instructions  as  to  the  carrying  on  of  the  work, 
and  by  his  seizing  the  occasion  which  presented  itself  to  write. 
We  are  told  that  Francis  had  embarked  for  Meliapor  on  Palm 
Sunday,  March  29.  After  proceeding  some  distance,  the  vessel 
was  caught  by  a  storm,  which  forced  it  to  take  shelter  under 
the  lee  of  a  projection  of  land,  where  it  remained  during  Holy 
Week,  which  Francis  passed  on  shore  in  prayer  and  the  most 
rigorous  fasting.     They  set  sail  again  about  Easter  Day,  but 

2g6  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

were  again  driven  back  by  a  tempest,^^  this  time  to  Negapatam, 
whence  the  letter  was  written  on  Easter  Tuesday.  The  week 
spent  in  prayer  and  contemplation  of  the  Passion  of  our  Lord 
had  not,  as  we  see,  revealed  to  Francis  any  clear  knowledge 
of  his  future  destination,  and,  as  he  tells  the  Fathers  at  Goa  to 
whom  the  next  letter  is  written,  it  did  not  come  to  him  till  he 
had  been  some  time  at  Meliapor.  There  is  great  gravity  and 
even  severity  about  many  of  the  directions.  The  letter  is  un- 
like those  written  to  Mancias  before  he  was  a  priest,  and  he 
is  exhorted  to  look  after  the  Malabar  priests  as  well  as  the 
laity,  and  to  take  great  care  lest  the  former  set  a  bad  example 
and  lead  a  life  unworthy  of  their  sacred  calling.  The  passage 
about  Cosmo  de  Payva  is  in  the  same  strain  of  apostolical 
liberty  with  the  letter  to  the  King  of  Portugal  already  given. 
Joam  d'Artiaga  has  again  been  giving  trouble,  and  he  is  dis- 
missed altogether  from  the  mission. 

The  tempest  which  had  driven  back  the  ship  in  which 
Francis  Xavier  was  sailing  to  Meliapor  did  not  prevent  his 
departure  for  that  city.  He  made  the  journey  overland  on 
foot,  and  must  have  suffered  great  hardships  and  even  dangers 
on  the  way  :  but  he  was  now  in  one  of  those  stages  of  his  life 
when  he  was  drawn  specially  to  give  himself  to  prayer  and  the 
most  earnest  seeking  for  light  from  God,  and  at  such  times  he 
was  ^most  disposed  to  be  alone  and  to  embrace  penance  of 
every  sort.  He  arrived  at  Meliapor  in  the  course  of  April, 
and  took  up  his  quarters  in  the  house  of  the  Vicar  (or  parish 
priest),  Gaspar  Coelho,  which  was  close  to  the  church  of  St. 

The  fame  of  the  shrine  of  this  Apostle,  and  the  frequent 
miracles  wrought  there,  are  attested  both  by  the  historians  of 
India  and  the  biographers  of  Francis  Xavier.  According  to 
old  tradition,  he  had  been  martyred  at  Salamiua,  a  city  out 
of  the  ruins  of  which  Meliapor  seems  to  have  risen.  MafFei-^ 
relates  how  the  Apostle  was  said  to  have  predicted  that  when 

23  Francis  is  said  to  have  predicted  this  tempest,  urging  the  captain  to  put 
back  to  port,  before  there  were  any  signs  of  a  storm. 
^  Hist.  Indie,  t.  ii.  p.  37. 

Meliapor.  297 

the  sea  reached  a  certain  stone  cross  which  he  had  erected, 
which  was  then  ten  leagues  from  the  shore,  white  men  would 
come  from  the  most  distant  parts  of  the  earth  to  revive  the  re- 
ligion which  he  had  preached  in  India.  The  sea  gained  upon 
the  land  for  centuries  along  that  coast,  and  reached  the  stone 
at  the  time  of  the  arrival  of  the  Portuguese.  Thus  the  ancient 
city  had  been  in  great  part  swallowed  up.  Meliapor,  however, 
was  the  chief  city  and  mart  on  the  Coromandel  Coast,  and  a 
place  of  great  importance.  One  of  the  first  orders  issued  to 
the  Governor  of  India  by  King  John  of  Portugal,  on  coming 
to  the  throne  in  15  21,  had  been  to  search  for  the  relics  of  the 
Apostle  and  show  them  due  honour.  The  constant  and  uni- 
versal tradition  of  the  country  pointed  out  the  spot.  Maffei 
in  another  part  of  his  history  gives  a  detailed  account  of  the 
discovery  of  the  body  of  St.  Thomas,25  which  was  found  with 
a  staff,  the  lance  which  had  been  the  instrument  of  his  martyr- 
dom, and  a  little  vessel  containing  some  blood.  The  relics 
were  afterwards  removed  to  Goa,  but  at  the  time  of  the  visit 
of  Francis  Xavier  they  were  still  in  the  church  at  Meliapor. 
A  fine  church  had  been  built  by  the  Portuguese  over  the  little 
chapel  of  wood  which  was  said  to  have  been  built  by  the 
Apostle,  and  by  the  side  of  this,  in  a  smaller  chapel,  the  sacred 
body  rested.  Here  it  was,  then,  that  Francis  Xavier  spent  many 
a  night  in  prayer,  communing,  as  it  were,  with  the  first  preacher 
of  the  Gospel  in  the  Indies  as  to  his  own  future  course  of  labour 
for  the  salvation  of  the  East.  He  stole  out  at  night,  across  the 
Htde  garden  which  separated  the  house  from  the  church,  as 
soon  as  he  observed  that  the  Vicar,  who  slept  in  the  same 
room,  was  fast  asleep.  Here  he  is  said  to  have  been  frequently 
molested  and  even  beaten  and  bruised  during  his  long  vigil  by 
the  devil,  and  at  other  times  to  have  been  disturbed  and  an- 
noyed by  strange  phantoms.  He  persevered  through  all,  and 
obtained,  as  we  see  from  the  following  letter,  the  divine  illumin- 
ation which  he  sought  so  earnestly  and  faithfully. 

26  Hist.  Indie,  t.  viii.  p,  157.    The  spot  is  now  a  suburb  of  Madras. 

298  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

(xLvi.)   To  the  Fathers  Diego  de  Borba  and  Paul  of 
Camerino  (^at  Goa), 

May  the  grace  and  charity  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  always 
help  and  favour  us  !     Amen. 

The  Jafanapatam  expedition  has  just  come  to  nought.  So 
the  Rajah,  who  had  promised  to  become  Christian,  has  not  been 
reestablished  in  his  dominions.  An  accident  ruined  the  whole 
thing.  A  vessel  of  the  King  of  Portugal's,  returning  from  Pegu 
to  the  Indies  with  a  full  cargo,  was  driven  ashore  by  a  storm 
on  the  coast  of  the  kingdom  of  Jafanapatam.  The  Rajah  im- 
mediately seized  the  cargo.  The  Portuguese  have  been  pleased 
to  put  off  the  war  till  they  have  recovered  their  property.  Thus 
it  is  that  what  the  Governor  ordered  has  not  been  done.  But 
it  will  be  done  yet,  if  so  it  please  God. 

I  stayed  several  days  at  Negapatam,  and  then  the  wind, 
which  was  adverse  to  our  return  westward,  prevented  my  set- 
ting out  homeward.  So  I  took  this  accident  as  a  piece  of  ad- 
vice, and  betook  myself  to  the  city  of  St.  Thomas.  Then  in  the 
holy  church  of  the  Apostle  I  set  myself  to  implore  God,  with 
continual  prayer,  to  be  pleased  to  make  known  to  me  His  will, 
which  I  had  fully  made  up  my  mind  not  to  fail  in  accomplish- 
ing, for  I  was  confident  that  He  Who  gives  the  will  would  give 
also  strength  to  accomplish  it.^^  And  so  here  God  in  His  infinite 
mercy  has  been  pleased  to  remember  me.  With  my  soul  flooded 
with  an  indescribable  joy,  I  understood  that  God  desired  me 
to  go  to  Malacca,  and  from  thence  to  Macazar,  where  a  great 
number  of  natives  have  lately  become  Christians,  and  there 
confirm  these  new  converts  in  the  faith  which  they  have  em- 

I  have  had  translated  into  their  language,  with  short  ex- 
planations, the  elements  and  precepts  of  the  Christian  religion. 
It  is  quite  right  that  those  who  have  of  their  own  accord  be- 
come Christians  should  receive  from  us  every  kind  of  assistance, 
and  that  to  be  able  to  ask  God  to  increase  their  faith  and  to 

26  Qui  dedit  velle,  daret  etiam  perficere.  (Orig.) 

Meliapor,  299 

give  them  strength  necessary  to  observe  the  divine  law,  they 
should  have  at  hand  prayers  translated  into  their  own  language, 
the  Pater  Noster^  the  Hail  Mary,  and  other  prayers,  and  espe- 
cially the  formula  of  general  confession.  If  they  make  use 
of  it  every  day  to  confess  their  sins  to  God,  it  will  take  the 
place  of  sacramental  confession  until  they  have  priests  amongst 
them  who  know  the  language  of  Macazar. 

Father  Francis  Mancias,  with  some  Malabar  priests,  re- 
mains among  the  Christians  of  Comorin.  Where  they  are  my 
work  is  not  wanted.  The  Fathers  who  have  wintered  at  Mo- 
zambique, and  others  whom  we  expect  from  Europe  this  year, 
will  accompany  the  Cingalese  princes  when  they  return  to  their 
own  country.  I  hope  much  that  God  will  give  me  great  help 
for  my  voyage,  since,  as  I  have  told  you.  He  has  condescended 
to  let  me  know,  with  so  much  interior  delight  in  my  soul,  what 
it  is  that  most  of  all  He  requires  of  me,  and  I  am  so  firmly 
resolved  to  accomplish  what  by  His  divine  inspiration  I  have 
conceived,  that  if  I  were  by  any  chance  to  leave  it  undone  I 
should  simply  seem  to  myself  to  fight  against  God,  and  to  have 
no  right  to  hope  for  anything  either  in  this  life  or  after  death. 
So  if  this  year  I  can  find  no  opportunity  of  going  by  a  Portu- 
guese ship,  I  shall  not  be  afraid  to  trust  myself  to  a  Mussul- 
man or  heathen  vessel  sailing  for  Malacca.  And  I  have  so 
much  confidence  in  God,  for  Whom  alone  I  undertake  this 
voyage,  that  even  if  there  were  to  be  no  merchant  vessel  this 
year,  and  some  open  boat  were  to  set  out  from  hence  to  Ma- 
lacca, I  should  not  hesitate,  relying  on  the  help  of  God,  to 
make  the  voyage  in  that.  In  truth,  all  my  hope  is  fixed  and 
rests  in  God.  For  His  sake,  therefore,  I  beg  of  you,  my  dearest 
brothers,  not  to  cease  to  commend  me,  a  poor  sinner,  to  Him 
in  your  daily  masses  and  continual  prayers.  I  think  I  shall  set 
out  for  Malacca  towards  the  end  of  August,  for  the  ships  which 
are  to  sail  thither  wait  for  favourable  weather,  which  generally 
comes  about  that  season.  I  have  asked  the  Governor  of  India 
for  an  order  in  writing  to  the  Commandant  of  Malacca  to  provide 
me  with  a  vessel  and  all  other  things  necessary  for  the  voyage 
to  Macazar.    I  charge  you  of  your  charity  to  see  that  this  order 

300  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

is  made  out  and  sent  by  the  bearer  of  this  letter.  Send  me  at 
the  same  time  a  small  Roman  Breviary.  Say  a  great  many  kind 
things  in  my  name  to  Cosmo  Anez,  our  very  good  friend  and 
the  most  faithful  of  men.  I  do  not  write  to  him  separately, 
because  this  letter  is  intended  for  all  three  of  you. 

If  any  members  of  the  Society  arrive  who  are  foreigners 
and  ignorant  of  the  Portuguese  language,  they  will  have  to 
learn  it,  otherwise  there  will  be  no  one  in  these  parts  to  un- 
derstand what  they  say.  I  will  write  to  you  from  Malacca,  to 
tell  you  about  the  conversions  already  made  and  how  the  hea- 
thens are  prepared,  so  that  you  may  send  us  thither  men  fit 
to  propagate  our  holy  Christian  faith  among  them,  for  you 
must  make  the  house  which  is  called  after  the  holy  faith 
justify  its  name.  I  will  write  to  you  more  fully  by  the  para- 
messes-7  which  will  sail  in  July.  May  our  Lord  bring  us  to- 
gether in  His  blessed  kingdom !  for  I  know  not  whether  we 
shall  ever  see  each  other  again  in  this  life. 


The  city  of  St.  Thomas,  May  8th,  1545. 

Meliapor  was  a  city  of  predilection  to  Francis  Xavier.  It 
was  not  by  any  means  free  from  the  scandals  which  prevailed 
at  Goa  and  elsewhere.  There  were  only  about  a  hundred  Por- 
tuguese families  settled  in  the  place,  and  the  evil  influences  of 
the  pagan  corruption  around  them,  as  well  as  the  enervating 
effects  of  the  climate,  had  made  large  inroads  on  their  Chris- 
tian virtue.  Nevertheless,  the  city  won  Francis'  heart,  for  he 
found  its  people  docile  and  ready  for  improvement,  and  no 
doubt  the  immense  consolations  which  he  received  at  the  shrine 
of  St.  Thomas,  after  his  future  course  had  become  clear  to  him, 
made  him  love  the  spot  on  which  he  had  been  so  blessed. 
He  spent  four  bright  happy  months  at  Meliapor.  His  days  were 
given  to  labours  for  the  spiritual  good  of  the  inhabitants,  and 
his  nights,  except  the  short  portion  which  he  allotted  to  ne- 
cessary rest,  in  prayer  and  contemplation.  Some  anecdotes  of 
this  time  are  given  in  the  biographies.  They  all  witness  to  the 
kind  of  magic  which  his  presence  exercised  over  the  popula- 
27  native  boats. 

Meliapor,  30; 

tion,  especially  the  Portuguese,  who,  even  when  they  were 
leading  vicious  lives,  still  preserved  their  faith,  and  were  easily 
won  by  his  sweet  gay  affability  and  the  charm  of  his  eminent 
holiness.  All  over  the  East  he  was  already  known  as  the  holy 
Father,  and  so  many  of  his  wonderful  sayings  and  predictions 
had  come  true  that  every  one  was  convinced  that  neglect  of 
his  admonitions  would  be  speedily  followed  by  punishment 
from  heaven.  Once,  as  if  forced  by  poverty,  he  asked  a  rich 
cavalier  to  give  him  a  dinner.  The  man  was  living  in  open  sin 
with  a  mistress  to  whom  he  was  fanatically  attached,  and  this 
lady  was  at  table,  and  the  walls  were  hung  round  with  licen- 
tious paintings.  Francis  took  no  notice  of  anything,  spoke  to 
the  lady  as  if  she  had  been  the  cavalier's  wife,  talked  pleasantly 
and  at  the  same  time  seriously  till  dinner  was  over,  and  then 
took  his  leave  with  a  thousand  thanks  to  his  host  for  having 
been  so  charitable  as  to  feed  him.  The  man's  heart  smote  him 
as  soon  as  Francis  was  gone,  and  when  he  thought  of  all  that 
his  guest's  virginal  modesty  must  have  had  to  suffer  during  the 
repast,  he  was  melted  at  the  thought  of  so  much  charity.  He 
was  soon  at  the  feet  of  Francis,  asking  him  to  hear  his  con- 
fession, and  became  a  changed  man  for  the  rest  of  his  life.^s 
A  certain  Jerome  Fernandez  used  to  tell  afterwards  how  he 
had  been  on  a  vessel  which  had  been  taken  by  pirates,  and 
had  only  escaped  by  swimming  ashore  without  anything  but 
his  clothes.  He  applied  for  alms  to  Francis,  who  put  his  hand 
into  his  purse  and  found  nothing,  and  then,  raising  his  eyes  to 
heaven,  and  bidding  him"  not  despair,  so  great  was  the  mercy 
of  God,  he  took  out  of  it  a  handful  of  gold  fanams,  and  gave 
them  to  Fernandez.  Another,  a  merchant,  went  to  ask  his 
blessing,  as  he  was  going  on  a  distant  voyage.  Francis  took 
his  own  rosary  and  gave  it  him,  telling  him  that  it  would  be 
of  use  to  him  if  he  had  confidence  in  the  prayers  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin.    The  merchant  was  saved  on  a  plank  from  a  shipwreck 

-8  Massei,  1.  ii.  c.  7.  Massei  says  he  had  not  been  to  confession  for  fifteen 
years.  Another  penitent  is  mentioned  by  Bartoli,  who  had  been  away  from  the 
sacraments  for  twenty  years,  and  was  for  a  fortnight  seen  in  the  church  daily, 
making  his  confession. 

30 2  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

in  which  most  of  those  with  him  were  lost,  calling  on  our  Blessed 
Lady,  and  holding  the  rosary  in  his  hands. 

The  story  of  Joam  d'Eyro,  a  young  merchant  who  gave  his 
goods  to  the  poor  and  became  Francis'  companion  in  his  voy- 
age to  Malacca,  is  told  by  all  the  biographers  of  St.  Francis, 
and  is  alluded  to  in  the  first  letter  which  was  written  by  the 
Saint  after  his  arrival  at  that  place.  We  may  give  it  partly  in 
the  words  of  the  English  translation  of  Turselline,  partly  in 
those  of  Lucena,  who  had  seen  the  sworn  deposition.  *  There 
was  a  certain  young  man,  a  merchant,  called  John  d'Eyro,  who 
came  to  Francis  to  confession,  and  hearing  him  discourse  of 
divine  matters,  found  there  were  certain  other  merchandize  far 
richer  than  those  with  which  he  trafficked,  and  of  which  he 
had  never  heard  before.  Wherefore,  giving  over  his  former 
trading,  and  desirous  to  become  a  merchant  of  more  precious 
wares,  he  entreated  Francis  to  receive  him  for  his  companion.' 
[The  writer  means  his  companion- in  the  Society.]  'He  at 
first  refused  him  absolutely  (because,  perhaps,  he  saw  in  him 
a  secret  inconstancy  and  intractable  disposition),  yet  at  last, 
by  much  entreaty,  he  obtained  his  desire,  and  so,  settling  his 
affairs,  began  to  distribute  his  goods  among  the  poor.  But 
in  executing  of  this  his  good  purpose  he  was  more  forward 
than  constant.  For  whilst  he  was  busied  about  selling  of  his 
wares,  he  was  vehemently  solicited  by  the  common  enemy  of 
mankind,  who  did  so  work  upon  him  that  having  set  his  hand 
to  the  plough,  on  a  sudden  he  began  to  look  back,  and  sought 
again  most  greedily  after  those  things  which  a  little  before  he 
had  contemned.  Being  thus  wholly  changed  in  mind,  he  packed 
up  his  merchandize  in  the  most  private  way  he  could  and  con- 
veyed them  into  a  ship,  intending  to  be  gone.  But  although 
he  deceived  others,  yet  he  could  not  deceive  Francis,  the  which 
he  most  of  all  sought  to  do.  Now  having  gotten  all  things 
together  which  he  thought  requisite,  as  he  was  about  to  take 
shipping,  Xavier  upon  a  sudden  causeth  him  to  be  called  unto 
him.'29  He  sent  after  him  a  lad  called  Antonio,  says  Lucena. 
The  young  merchant  thought  at  first  to  brave  it  out.     *You 

29  Turselline,  lib.  ii.  c.  17. 

Meliapor,  303 

are  wrong,  my  child,'  he  said,  *  I  am  not  the  man  you  seek.» 
*  What,'  said  the  boy,  *  are  you  not  called  Joam  d'Eyro  ?'  *  Yes,' 
he  said.  'Well,  sir.  Father  Master  Francis  sent  me  to  run 
quick,  and  find  and  call  to  him  Joam  d'Eyro.'  There  was  a 
battle  in  the  man's  heart;  but  at  last  he  determined  to  go, 
trusting  in  his  own  great  secrecy,  says  the  account,  that  Francis 
could  not  know  what  had  happened ;  but  he  was  undeceived 
as  soon  as  he  came  into  his  presence.  Francis  said  simply, 
'  You  have  sinned,  Joam  d'Eyro,  you  have  sinned,'  but  so  for- 
cibly that  Joam  threw  himself  at  his  feet,  saying,  *  Yes,  father, 
it  is  true,  it  is  true,  I  have  sinned.'  *  Confession  !  confession  ! 
my  child,'  said  Francis ;  and,  adds  Lucena,  '  the  same  day  he 
confessed,  the  same  day  he  sold  his  ship  that  he  had  bought, 
the  same  day  he  gave  the  price  of  it  and  all  the  rest  he  had  to 
the  poor,  the  same  day  he  ended  with  more  grace,  and  rose 
to  a  better  life  by  penance  than  he  had  lost  by  his  fault,  having 
gained  besides,  by  the  experience  of  his  own  weakness,  a  great 
advance  in  the  knowledge  and  distrust  of  himself.'^^ 

The  time  at  last  came  for  Francis  to  sail  for  Malacca,  and 
we  are  told  that  so  great  had  been  the  change  wrought  by  his 
influence  in  the  moral  and  religious  state  of  the  Portuguese, 
that  there  was  no  one  left,  when  he  set  sail,  who  was  known  to 
be  leading  a  bad  and  unchristian  life.  Francis  left  the  people 
with  blessings  and  predictions  of  happiness  and  prosperity, 
which  were  signally  fulfilled,  and  they  on  their  part  showed  so 
much  grief  at  his  going  as  to  remind  the  Portuguese  historian 
of  the  parting  between  St.  Paul  and  his  friends  at  Miletus.  We 
find  almost  invariably  that  the  sea  voyages  of  Francis  Xavier 
— which  occupied  a  very  large  portion  of  the  short  period  of 
years  during  which  his  Apostolate  was  carried  on — are  sig- 
nalized each  in  turn  by  some  miracle  of  charity  or  some  anec- 
dote of  his  gracious,  affable,  and  playful  sanctity.  This  voyage 
from  Meliapor  to  Malacca  has  its  story  of  this  kind.  A  soldier 
was  on  board,  very  fond  of  cards,  which  were  in  great  request 
to  cheer  the  tedium  of  the  passage.  One  day  he  was  unlucky, 
and  lost,  first  all  his  own  money,  and  then  a  large  sum,  some 

30   Vida  da  S.  Francesco,  1.  iii.  c.  9. 

304  St,  Francis  Xavier. 

hundreds  of  crowns,  which  had  been  committed  to  his  care  by 
a  merchant  at  MeHapor,  to  be  conveyed  to  a  correspondent 
at  Malacca.  When  all  was  lost,  the  poor  man  broke  out  into 
blasphemies  against  God,  and  then  sank  into  a  deep  melan- 
choly which  brought  him  to  the  point  of  throwing  himself  into 
the  sea.  Francis  was  told  of  his  danger ;  perhaps,  as  was  so 
often  his  wont,  he  had  been  looking  on  at  the  game,  talking 
with  the  players  and  bystanders.  He  took  the  man  aside,  and 
began  to  comfort  him  as  well  as  he  could,  but  it  seemed  im- 
possible to  make  him  resigned.  Then  Francis  borrowed  fifty 
reals  of  a  friend,  and  brought  them  to  him  with  a  bright  smile 
on  his  face,  telling  him  to  go  and  try  his  luck  again.  Before 
the  play  began,  he  took  the  pack  of  cards  in  his  hands,  turned 
them  over  once  or  twice,  and  then  gave  them  to  the  players. 
This  time  the  luck  was  all  on  the  side  of  the  soldier,  who  soon 
won  back  all  that  he  had  lost.  He  was  going  on  with  the 
game,  when  Francis  forbad  him  to  continue,  and  then  taking 
him  aside,  spoke  to  him  sweetly  and  gravely  of  the  risk  which 
he  had  run  of  throwing  away  his  soul  as  well  as  his  life. 
The  man  became  truly  penitent,  and  never  touched  cards 

These  anecdotes  of  Francis  in  his  intercourse  with  his 
chance  companions  on  his  numerous  voyages  might  probably 
have  been  multiplied  almost  indefinitely  if  there  had  been  any 
one  at  hand  to  collect  them  at  the  time.  We  gather  from  them 
a  picture  of  the  Saint  as  individual  and  distinct  in  its  features 
as  that,  for  instance,  which  the  mind  forms  to  itself  as  it  con- 
siders the  several  stories  about  St.  Francis  of  Assisi,  in  his 
love  for  birds,  animals,  and  the  lower  creation  generally.  The 
beauty,  the  simplicity,  the  exquisite  gentleness,  condescension, 
and  charity  of  the  picture  assure  us  of  its  general  truth,  apart 
from  the  authority  of  the  testimony  on  which  each  particular 
instance  may  rest.  Amid  all  the  wild  roughness,  the  free 
license,  and  the  reckless  passions  which  had  their  play  among 
'the  Portuguese  mariners  of  the  time,  and  the  crowd  of  men  of 
all  races  and  creeds  who  were  to  be  met  with  on  board  the  mer- 
chant vessels  of  the  Eastern  seas,  it  was  the  fruit  of  no  slight 

Meliapor.  305 

and  feeble  virtue  to  preserve  purity,  charity,  meekness,  jus- 
tice, and  temperance,  without  stain  or  flaw.  A  far  more  con- 
summate sanctity  must  that  have  been  which  could  mix  so 
freely  and  easily  with  the  crowd,  and  condescend  so  thoroughly 
to  its  ways  and  practices,  and  yet  not  only  remain  pure  as  the 
sunbeam  that  pierces  the  foulest  dungeon,  but  be  also  a  source 
of  light  and  moral  health  and  renovation  to  all  around  it. 

We  must  suppose  that  Francis  received,  before  sailing  for 
Malacca,  the  letter  for  the  Commandant  of  that  place,  which 
he  had  asked  for  from  the  Governor  Sousa.  If  Sousa  sent  it 
to  him,  it  was  his  last  act  as  Governor  in  favour  of  Francis 
Xavier.  About  the  end  of  August  of  this  year  a  new  Governor 
arrived,  Joam  de  Castro,  whose  name  became  very  famous  ii 
the  annals  of  Portuguese  India.  Martin  Alfonso  de  Sousa  had 
been  unsuccessful,  at  least  he  was  unpopular  with  the  Portu- 
guese. He  had  lowered  the  pay  of  the  soldiers,  and  at  the 
same  time  opposed  nimself  rigorously  to  the  practice  common 
among  them  of  quitting  the  King's  service  to  become  traders. 
Other  measures  of  his,  which  are  mentioned  by  Faria  y  Sousa, 
seem  to  have  had  the  same  tendency  to  thrift,  economy, 
carefulness  in  watching  the  interests  of  the  revenue,  and  the 
like.  He  was  also  naturally  severe  and  hot  tempered.  He  is 
said  to  have  so  earnestly  desired  the  arrival  of  his  successor  as 
to  have  adjured  a  friend  of  his,  who  was  setting  out  for  Portu- 
gal a  few  days  before  Joam  de  Castro  arrived,  and  was  hear- 
ing mass  with  him  at  the  time,  to  tell  the  King  to  send  him  a 
successor,  as  he  dared  not  govern  India  *  because  men  are  so 
changed  from  truth  and  honour.'  And  he  swore  *by  that  sacred 
Host,  and  by  the  true  Body  of  Christ,  which  he  saw  therein 
with  the  eyes  of  faith,'  that  otherwise  he  would  open  the  *  pa- 
tents of  succession' — sealed  papers  sent  out  by  the  King,  with 
names  of  officers  in  them  who  were  to  succeed  to  the  Gover- 
norship in  case  of  a  sudden  vacancy — and  resign  the  govern- 
ment to  the  first  who  should  be  named.^^  Don  Joam  de  Castro 
brought  with  him  three  Fathers  of  the  Society  for  the  service  of 
the  mission. 

2^  Faria  y  Sousa,  Asia  Portuguesa,  t.  ii.  p.  i.  cap.  xiv. 
VOL.  I.  X 


(i.)  Daily  Exercise  of  a  Christian,  draw  ft  tip  by  St.  Francis 

There  are  in  the  collection  of  the  Letters  of  St.  Francis  Xavier 
several  documents  which  are  rather  to  be  classed  among  his 
•works,'  than  among  his  letters.  It  is  much  to  be  regretted  that 
there  are  not  more  of  these  relics  of  his  wonderful  industry  and 
diligence,  for  his  own  letters,  and  the  writers  of  his  time,  men- 
tion several  which  do  not  seem  now  to  exist.  At  least,  they  have 
never  been  published.  There  is  so  much  to  be  learnt  from  his 
manner  of  setting  forth  even  the  simplest  and  most  elementary 
truths,  that  it  would  be  a  pity  to  omit  altogether  the  documents  to 
which  we  refer  ;  and  we  shall,  therefore,  place  them  here,  where 
they  may  be  considered  as  a  commentary  on  what  has  been  said 
in  the  text  and  his  own  letters  as  to  his  methods  of  practical  in- 
struction. The  first  document,  which  we  find  in  the  collection  of 
F.  Menchacha  {Epistolce  Sti.  Fraticisci  Xaverii),  is  a  rule  of  daily 
life  for  a  Christian.  It  seems  not  to  be  intended  so  much  for  the 
Indian  converts  as  for  the  Portuguese,  as  it  clearly  implies  that 
the  person  following  it  can  go  every  day  to  mass.  It  was  the  habit 
of  St.  Francis,  as  F.  Poussines  informs  us,  when  he  had  won  any 
body  back  from  a  bad  life,  to  give  him  a  method  of  living  well 
and  piously.  This  he  used  to  teach  to  the  ignorant  viva  voce,  and 
to  others  he  gave  it  in  writing.  There  were  thus  many  copies  of 
it  in  existence,  indeed  he  sometimes  fixed  it  up  in  a  public  place, 
where  people  might  copy  it.  We  owe  the  copy  which  we  possess 
to  the  zeal  of  Father  Philippucci,  an  Italian  Jesuit  who  had  been 
miraculously  healed  by  invoking  St.  Francis  Xavier,  and  after- 
wards got  leave  to  go  and  labour  in  India,  whence  he  sent  a  large 
number  of  copies  of  letters  of  the  Saint  to  Pere  Poussines.  PhiHp- 
pucci  obtained  several  copies  of  the  instruction  which  follows,  and 
comparing  them  together,  selected  the  best  text  he  could  find,  and 
translated  it  into  Latin.  (Philippucci  lived  at  the  end  oi  the  seven- 
teenth century.)     The  title  of  the  paper  is  given  as  follows  : 

Notes  to  Book  IF.  307 

To  souls  desirous  of  eternal  salvatioit. 

The  Christian  who  is  not  satisfied  to  be  one  merely  in  name, 
but  who  would  truly  and  practically  act  up  to  what  he  professes, 
should  on  awaking  in  the  morning  turn  his  mind  to  make  three 
acts  especially  due  to  God  and  pleasing  to  Him.  The  first  is  the 
confession  and  adoration  of  the  most  Holy  Trinity,  the  mystery 
of  God  one  in  Nature,  three  in  Persons.  The  profession  and  con- 
fession of  three  divine  Persons  in  one  Essence  is  the  distinctive 
mark  of  the  Christian  faith,  and  this  we  openly  declare  by  making 
the  sign  of  the  cross  and  pronouncing  at  the  same  time  the  names 
of  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  as  the  Church  teaches  her 
children  to  do,  if  only  we  accompany  the  movement  of  our  hand  and 
the  sound  of  the  tongue  by  devotion  and  attention  of  mind.  The 
moment  you  awake,  therefore,  sign  yourself  on  the  forehead  and 
the  breast,  and  pronounce  at  the  same  time  the  solemn  invocation 
of  the  Holy  Trinity,  with  the  deepest  reverence  of  a  devout  mind, 
so  to  adore  God  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  One  Eternal 
Almighty  God  Infinite  in  goodness. 

The  second  duty  is  the  exercise  of  the  three  theological  virtues, 
thus  to  consecrate  to  our  Creator  the  first  fruits,  as  it  were,  Oi  the 
day,  and  to  gain  to  ourselves  beforehand  His  favour  which  we  so 
much  need  for  everything.  Repeat,  therefore,  the  Creed,  pro- 
nouncing each  of  the  articles  with  your  whole  heart,  and  making 
an  act  of  the  strongest  adhesion  to  all  the  dogmas  it  contains  con- 
cerning the  nature  of  God,  the  divine  Persons,  the  Incarnation, 
life,  death,  and  resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  holy  Church,  and 
all  the  rest,  saying  in  your  heart  as  you  give  utterance  to  the 
words  :  O  my  God,  Three  Persons  in  one  God,  I  believe  in  my 
heart  all  that  the  holy  Roman  Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church 
believes  and  teaches  concerning  Thee  ;  all  that  she  believes  and 
teaches  concerning  the  Son  of  the  eternal  Father,  Who  for  me 
was  made  man,  suffered,  died,  and  rose  again,  and  Who  reigns  in 
Heaven  with  the  Father  and  the  Holy  Spirit :  and  all  the  other 
articles  of  faith  which  this  holy  Church  teaches  and  processes.  I 
am  ready  to  lose  everything,  to  suffer  all  violence,  and  more  than 
that,  to  pour  forth  my  blood  and  my  life,  rather  than  allow  this 
faith  to  be  torn  from  me,  or  allow  the  least  doubt  as  to  any  part 
oi  it.  I  am  fully  resolved  to  live  and  die  in  this  profession,  and 
if  speech  shall  fail  me  when  I  come  to  my  last  hour,  now  at  this 
moment,  instead  Oi  then,  I  declare  in  words  which  express  my 
whole  heart  that  I  acknowledge  Thee,  O  Lord  Jesus,  lor  the  Son 

308  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

of  God,  I  believe  in  Thee,  and  I  submit  most  humbly  to  Thee 
all  my  thoughts.    Amen. 

From  Thee  also,  O  Jesus  Christ  my  Redeemer,  and  from  Thy 
divine  mercy,  I  hope  that  through  Thy  merits,  assisted  by  Thy 
grace,  I  corresponding  to  this  grace  by  good  works,  and  fulfilling 
the  precepts  of  Thy  holy  law,  I  shall  one  day  come  into  the  glory 
and  happiness  for  which  Thou  hast  been  pleased  to  create  and  call 
me.    Amen. 

I  love  Thee  also,  O  my  God,  above  all  things,  and  I  hate  and 
detest  with  my  whole  heart  the  sins  by  which  I  have  offended 
Thee,  because  they  are  displeasing  in  Thy  sight,  Thou  Who  art 
supremely  good  and  worthy  to  be  loved ;  and  as  I  acknowledge  that 
I  ought  to  love  Thee  with  a  love  beyond  all  others,  and  strive  to 
show  Thee  such  love,  so  also  I  count  Thee  in  my  judgment  infi- 
nitely above  the  worth  of  all  things  most  fair  and  excellent,  and  I 
firmly  and  irrevocably  resolve  never  to  consent  to  offend  Thee,  or  to 
do  anything  in  any  way  which  may  displease  Thy  sovereign  good- 
ness and  put  me  in  danger  of  falling  from  Thy  holy  grace,  in  which 
I  am  most  firmly  determined  to  persevere  to  my  last  breath.  Amen. 

In  the  third  place,  in  order  to  begin  the  day  and  the  hours  of 
light  well,  we  must  ask  of  God  our  Lord  the  assistance  of  His 
grace  that  we  may  observe  exactly  the  ten  commandments  of  His 
most  holy  law  :  for  no  one  can  arrive  at  eternal  salvation  except 
by  observing  them.  Therefore,  the  precepts  of  the  Decalogue 
should  be  repeated  distinctly  ;  and  after  having  pronounced  them 
slowly  and  attentively,  these  words  should  be  added  :  God  our 
Lord  says  that  those  who  observe  and  practise  these  ten  command- 
ments will  go  into  Paradise  and  there  enjoy  eternally  supreme  hap- 
piness. God  our  Lord  says  that  those  who  do  not  observe  and 
do  not  put  in  practice  these  ten  commandments  will  go  into  hell, 
where  they  will  be  tormented  eternally. 

These  two  prayers  should  be  added  in  order  to  obtain  grace  to 
observe  the  commandments  of  God  : 

I  pray  and  beseech  Thee,  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  to  grant  me 
grace  this  day  and  during  my  whole  life  to  observe  perfectly  the 
ten  commandments. 

I  beg  and  entreat  thee,  holy  Mary,  my  Sovereign  Lady,  inter- 
cede for  me  with  thy  most  blessed  Son  Jesus  Christ,  and  obtain 
from  Him,  to  grant  me  this  day  and  all  my  life  grace  faithfully  to 
observe  these  ten  commandments.  Amen. 

Afterwards  should  be  said,  with  an  attentive  and  devout  heart, 
this  prayer  to  God  our  Lord  : 

Notes  to  Book  11. 


O  Almighty  God,  Father  of  my  soul,  Creator  of  all  things  that 
are  in  the  world,  in  Thee,  my  God  and  Lord,  the  source  of  all  my 
good,  I  place  my  whole  confidence  ;  I  hope,  without  any  doubt, 
that  I  shall  obtain  eternal  salvation  from  Thy  grace  through  the 
infinite  merits  of  the  Passion  and  death  of  my  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
although  the  sins  which  I  have  committed  from  my  tender  years 
up  to  this  day  are  very  great  indeed  and  very  many.  Thou,  O 
Lord,  hast  created  me,  and  given  me  body  and  soul  and  all  that  I 
have.  Thou  alone  and  none  else  hast  formed  me  in  Thy  image 
and  likeness.  I  return  to  Thee,  O  my  God,  endless  thanks  and 
praise,  especially  for  the  blessing  Thou  hast  granted  me  of  know- 
ing the  faith  and  the  true  laws  of  Jesus  Christ  Thy  Son.  Weigh 
in  the  balance,  O  Lord,  my  sins  against  the  merits  of  the  death 
and  Passion  of  my  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  not  against  my  own 
slender  merits,  which  are  indeed  none  at  all ;  and  so  I  shall  be  free 
from  the  power  of  the  enemy,  and  shall  go  and  enjoy  eternally  the 
glory  of  Paradise.    Amen. 

Prayer  to  our  most  holy  Lady. 

O  Mary,  my  Lady,  the  hope  of  Christians,  and  Queen  of  An- 
gels and  of  all  the  saints  who  are  with  God  in  heaven;  I  commend 
myself  to  thee,  my  Lady,  and  to  all  the  saints,  now,  as  if  I  were 
at  the  hour  of  my  death,  to  preserve  me  from  the  world,  the  flesh, 
and  the  devil,  the  enemies  who  plot  against  my  soul,  employing 
all  their  power,  and  hoping  with  deadly  hate  to  thrust  it  down  into 
hell.  Hinder  this,  O  most  tender  Mother,  I  pray  and  beseech 
thee.    Amen. 

Prayer  to  St.  Michael  the  Archangel. 

O  my  most  excellent  Patron,  holy  Archangel  Michael,  defend 
me  against  the  devil  at  the  hour  of  my  death,  when  I  shall  stand 
before  the  judgment  seat,  giving  to  God  an  account  of  all  my  life. 

Prayer  to  the  holy  Guardian  Angel. 

O  Angel  of  God,  who,  by  Divine  appointment,  art  my  guardian 
to  watch  over  me  in  all  my  ways,  be  pleased  this  day  to  enlighten, 
preserve,  rule,  and  govern  me,  whom  the  goodness  of  God  has  com- 
mitted to  thy  charge.^ 

1  O  Angele  Dei, 
Qui  custos  es  mei, 
Me  tibi  commissum  pietate  supemi 
Illumina,  custodi,  rege,  et  guberna. 

3IO  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

After  this  usual  formulary  (Angel  of  God,  who  art,  &c.),  should 
be  added  :  I  beseech  thee,  O  holy  and  blessed  Angel,  to  whose 
care  and  providence  I  am  entrusted,  be  always  at  hand  with 
help  for  me  at  the  time  of  need.  Bear  my  prayers  into  the 
sight  of  God  our  Lord,  and  let  thy  voice  plead  in  His  merciful 
ear,  that  by  His  mercy  and  through  thy  intercession.  He  may 
grant  me  the  pardon  of  my  past  faults,  a  true  knowledge  of  my 
present  faults  and  a  true  contrition  for  them  ;  and  lastly,  effica- 
cious care  to  avoid  those  of  which  in  future  my  frailty  may  be 
in  danger,  and  that  He  may  also  grant  me  the  grace  to  do  good 
works  and  to  persevere  in  so  doing  to  the  end  of  my  Hfe.  Drive  far 
away  from  me,  by  the  virtue  of  Almighty  God,  all  the  temptations 
of  Satan  ;  and  what  I  cannot  merit  by  my  own  works,  obtain  by 
thine  own  gracious  and  powerful  prayers  to  Him  Who  is  the  Lord 
of  both  of  us,  that  no  mixture  of  sin,  no  leaven  of  wickedness 
may  have  place  in  me.  And  if  at  any  time  thou  seest  me  wander 
out  of  the  right  way  and  fall  off  to  the  crooked  way  of  sin,  use 
every  means  to  bring  me  back  again  to  seek  my  Saviour  in  the 
paths  of  justice.  If  thou  seest  me  fall  into  tribulation  and  distress, 
then  in  thy  kindly  charity  use  all  thy  sweet  offices  with  God  to 
obtain  from  Him  for  me  at  once  the  help  which  I  need.  I  beseech 
thee  never  to  desert  me,  to  protect  me  ever,  visit  me,  help  me,  and 
defend  me  from  all  the  vexations  and  assaults  of  evil  spirits,  watch- 
ing over  me  night  and  day,  at  every  hour  and  at  every  moment ; 
direct  me  whither  thou  wouldst  have  me  to  go,  and  go  with  me 
and  guard  me.  But  above  all  things,  O  my  guide  and  holy  guar- 
dian, again  and  again  I  pray  and  beseech  thee,  bend  all  thy  powers 
and  redouble  thy  care  for  me  at  the  time  of  my  departure  from 
this  life,  and  permit  me  not  to  be  terrified  by  the  attacks  or  spectres 
of  my  enemies  the  devils.  Let  them  find  me  shielded  most  effica- 
ciously by  thee,  so  that  I  fall  not  into  despair,  and  leave  me  not 
before  thou  hast  led  me  in  unto  the  beatific  sight  of  God  our  Lord  ; 
where  with  thee,  with  the  most  blessed  Mother  of  God  ever  Virgin, 
and  all  the  saints,  we  may  enjoy  for  ever  the  glory  of  Paradise, 
which  is  to  be  given  us  through  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord,  Who,  with 
the  Father  and  the  Holy  Spirit,  lives  and  reigns  for  ever.  Amen. 

After  having  begun  by  these  prayers,  it  is  well  for  the  faithful 
Christian,  before  giving  himself  up  to  the  occupations  of  life,  to 
meditate  a  certain  space  of  time  on  the  law  of  the  Lord,  which  he 
may  do  profitably  by  renewing  every  morning  the  following  exer- 
cise.    Prostrate  before  God,  let  him  go  through  and  meditate  se- 

Notes  to  Book  IL  3 1 

parately  the  ten  commandments  of  His  law,  according  to  this 
form.  The  first  commandment  of  the  divine  law  of  my  Lord  and 
Creator  is  this :  '  Thou  shalt  love  and  worship  the  Lord  thy  God 
with  all  thy  heart,*  &c.  Then  let  him  think  over  with  himself  and 
call  to  mind  all  the  faults  which,  from  his  earliest  years,  he  has 
committed  ag'ainst  this  precept  during  his  whole  life.  Then,  con- 
demning and  detesting  them  with  his  whole  heart,  let  him  implore 
God  to  pardon  those  faults,  and  make  a  firm  resolution  to  avoid 
henceforth  sins  of  this  kind,  and  rather  to  incur  the  risk  and  loss 
of  all  his  property,  his  health,  and  even  his  life,  than  commit  any- 
thing contrary  to  a  commandment  so  just  and  salutary. 

Let  him  add  two  colloquies,  in  some  such  words  as  these. 
First  to  Jesus  Christ  let  him  say  :  I  pray  and  beseech  Thee,  O 
Jesus  my  Lord,  grant  me  to-day  and  all  the  days  of  my  life,  the 
abundance  of  Thy  grace  to  observe  this  first  precept  of  Thy  holy 
law.  Then  to  the  blessed  Mother  of  Jesus  Christ  :  O  my  Lady, 
holy  Mary,  I  beseech  thee  to  pray  for  me  to  the  blessed  fruit  of 
your  womb,  Jesus  Christ  my  Lord,  that  this  day  and  all  the  re- 
maining days  of  my  life  He  may  mercifully  supply  to  me  abundant 
grace  to  perform  fully  all  that  is  prescribed  to  me  by  this  first 
commandment  of  His  most  holy  law.  In  the  same  way  let  him 
go  thrDugh  the  nine  other  precepts  of  the  Decalogue. 

This  exercise,  if  gone  through  faithfully  at  the  beginning  of 
each  day,  is  of  the  highest  importance  for  securing  eternal  salva- 
tion. For  as  the  Christian's  whole  hope  and  only  way  of  arriving 
at  the  happiness  to  which  he  is  called  lies  in  his  doing  good  works 
and  avoiding  evil  works,  of  which  the  former  are  commanded  and 
the  ktter  forbidden  by  the  ten  precepts  of  the  divine  law,  it  is 
easy  to  see  how  much  it  will  conduce  to  this  end  to  consider  ex- 
actly and  distinctly  each  one  of  the  divine  precepts,  and  thus  to 
have  set  before  us  as  in  a  mirror  the  stains  of  our  souls  which 
must  be  removed,  and  how  much  is  still  lacking  to  us.  From 
this  springs  true  contrition,  whereby  we  efface  our  old  sins,  and 
also  that  we  guard  ourselves  beforehand  against  those  faults  into 
which  we  are  in  danger  of  falling  on  account  of  the  treacherous 
occasions  of  daily  life,  and  are  able  to  weaken  the  power  of  bad 
associations  and  vicious  habits,  and  daily  acquire  fresh  strength 
from  the  firm  and  deliberate  resolutions  which  we  form,  as  also 
by  imploring  so  continually  the  aid  of  God  to  resist  the  tempta- 
tions to  evil  which  may  occur  to  us  in  all  kinds  of  wickedness, 
every  one  of  which  falls  under  the  ban  of  some  one  of  the  ten 
commandments  oi  God,  and  consequently  may  be  thought  of  with 

12  St.  Francis  Xavier. 

the  greatest  profit  to  our  souls  in  this  daily  examination  of  those 
commandments,  made  in  this  consideration  of  them. 

Here  is  also  a  remedy  for  that  blindness  of  the  spiritual  eye 
so  common  in  all  those  who  live  without  reflection,  who  let  them- 
selves fall  into  sin  without  feeling  it,  and  in  whom  long  habit  has 
so  blunted  the  sting  of  conscience  that  they  drink  in  iniquity  like 
water,  not  knowing  what  they  are  doing,  while  they  are  preparing 
for  themselves  destruction  at  the  end,  and  like  gamesters,  stake 
their  eternal  salvation  or  damnation  on  a  chance  throw.  In  this 
exercise  care  must  be  taken  to  dwell  the  longest  time  on  those 
precepts  as  to  which  each  one  offends  most  often  and  most  seri- 
ously ;  exciting  a  more  lively  sorrow  for  such  sins  in  particular 
out  of  love  for  the  Divine  Majesty  which  they  have  offended,  and 
gathering  up  all  the  strength  of  the  soul  to  form  an  irrevocable 
resolution  of  abstaining  from  them  henceforth,  avoiding  also  the 
occasions  of  them,  and  taking  all  fit  ways  and  means  to  root  up 
the  bad  habit  which  carries  us  headlong  into  them,  especially  im- 
ploring the  help  of  God's  grace  chiefly  for  this  purpose. 

After  having  gone  through  the  ten  commandments,  the  Chris- 
tian should  pronounce  with  the  greatest  attention  these  or  the  like 
words  :  I  most  firmly  believe  that  if,  which  God  forbid,  death 
should  surprise  me  before  I  had  obtained  the  pardon  of  any  griev- 
ous sin,  committed  against  one  of  these  ten  divine  command- 
ments, immediately,  and  without  any  hope  of  a  remission  Df  the 
sentence,  my  poor  soul  would  be  damned  and  cast  into  the  ever- 
lasting fire  of  hell,  to  be  there  tormented  throughout  eternity,  with- 
out any  redemption  ;  also  I  am  certain  that  if,  as  I  desire  and 
hope,  when  I  yield  my  last  breath,  I  am  free  from  any  mortal  sin, 
and  if  I  begin  from  this  moment  to  correct  in  myself  the  bad 
habit  of  sinning  against  the  ten  divine  commandments,  then  God 
our  Lord  will  have  compassion  on  my  soul,  and  however  jreat 
may  have  been  the  number  of  sins  in  my  life,  will  lead  ms  to 
eternal  salvation,  that  is  to  say,  to  the  glory  of  Paradise,  after  I 
have  expiated  the  stains  of  my  sins,  by  the  trials  and  sufferkigs 
of  this  world  patiently  endured,  or  by  the  pains  of  Purgatory. 

Every  morning  when  he  leaves  his  home  the  Christian's  first 
steps  should  be  to  the  church,  and  there  let  him  be  present  at  the 
holy  sacrifice  of  the  mass.  While  mass  is  being  said,  he  may 
say  within  himself,  or  with  his  lips  if  he  like  better,  these  prayers, 
or  others  like  them  : 

O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  love  of  my  heart,  by  the  five  wounds 
which  Thy  love  for  us  inflicted  on  Thee  on  the  Cross,  help  Thy 

ISlotes  to  Book  11.  313 

servants  whom  Thou  hast  redeemed  with  Thy  most  precious 
Blood.     Amen. 

Lord  Jesus  Christ,  most  merciful  Saviour  of  men,  by  the  holy 
Cross  which  Thou  hast  consecrated  by  the  touch  of  Thy  most 
pure  Body,  and  which  Thou  hast  purpled  with  Thy  most  precious 
Blood  ;  by  the  virtue  of  the  Passion  and  the  death  which  Thou 
didst  suffer  for  me  thereon,  forgive  me  my  sins  as  Thou  didst  for- 
give the  -thief  crucified  beside  Thee ;  give  me  victory  over  the 
enemies  of  my  soul ;  and  by  Thy  grace  bring  the  men  who  are 
against  me  to  a  true  knowledge  of  Thy  Divinity,  and  to  true  re- 
pentance of  their  sins.     Amen. 

When  the  most  holy  Body  of  the  Lord  is  elevated  and  shown 
to  the  people,  let  him  say  : 

I  adore  Thee,  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  I  bless  Thee  for  having 
ransomed  the  world  and  me  by  the  holy  Cross.     Amen. 

When  the  sacred  chahce  of  the  precious  Blood  of  our  Lord  is 
elevated,  let  him  say  : 

I  adore  Thee,  O  most  sacred  Blood  of  Jesus  my  Lord,  shed 
upon  the  Cross  to  save  sinners  and  me.     Amen. 

And  as  it  is  fitting  that  the  Christian  should  be  careful  not  only 
for  his  own  salvation,  but  for  that  of  others,  I  should  advise  every 
one  to  repeat  this  prayer  for  the  conversion  of  infidels  at  the  mo- 
ment the  priest  consumes  the  sacred  Body  and  Blood  of  Jesus 
Christ  in  consummating  the  sacrifice  : 

O  Eternal  God,  Creator  of  all  things,  remember  that  the  souls 
of  infidels  have  been  created  by  Thee  out  of  nothing,  and  formed 
after  Thine  image  and  likeness.  Behold,  Lord,  to  the  dishonour 
of  Thy  name,  hell  is  peopled  with  them.  Remember  that  Jesus 
Thy  Son  suffered  for  their  salvation  the  most  cruel  death  :  per- 
mit not,  I  beseech  Thee,  O  Lord,  that  Thy  Son  be  any  longer 
held  in  contempt  by  these  infidels  ;  but,  appeased  by  the  prayers 
of  Thy  chosen  Saints,  of  the  Church,  the  most  holy  Spouse  of  Thy 
Son,  remember  Thy  mercy,  forget  their  idolatry  and  infidelity, 
and  grant  that  they  may  at  length  acknowledge  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  Whom  Thou  hast  sent,  in  Whom  is  our  salvation,  our  life, 
our  resurrection,  by  Whom  we  have  been  saved  and  set  at  liberty, 
and  to  Whom  be  all  glory  for  ever  and  ever.    Amen. 

During  the  day  the  wear  and  tear  of  life  and  our  promiscuous 
intercourse  with  men  usually  offer  dangerous  allurements  to  sin, 
especially  to  persons  who  by  many  sins  in  time  past  have  con- 
tracted a  habit  of  doing  wrong.  These  last  ought  to  recollect  con- 
tinually the  shortness  of  this  life,  the  nearness  of  death,  the  account 

314  ^^'  Francis  Xavier. 

they  must  render  to  God  of  all  the  actions  of  their  life,  the  uni- 
versal judgment  when  we  shall  appear  before  the  inexorable  judg- 
ment seat  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  everlasting  flames  of  the  damned, 
and  the  eternal  happiness  of  Paradise  for  which  we  were  created, 
which  is  to  be  irreparably  lost  by  any  mortal  sin.  A  person  who 
is  habitually  filled  with  these  thoughts,  when  he  betakes  himself 
to  the  daily  occupations  and  recreations  of  life,  will  certainly  fall 
far  more  rarely  than  others,  and  will  rise  again  more  easily  after 
he  has  fallen :  and  he  will  generally  be  found  ready  and  disposed  to 
do  that  during  his  life  which  at  the  hour  of  death  he  would  wish  to 
have  done.  It  will  also  be  good  for  every  one  to  be  fully  persuaded 
and  thoroughly  to  understand  that  there  is  a  great  difference  be- 
tween sins  of  frailty,  which  are  wrung  as  if  by  stealth,  by  the 
power  of  temptation  or  the  unexpected  snares  of  some  false  at- 
traction, from  persons  otherwise  well  disposed  to  good,  and  the 
great  sins  of  inveterate  habit  which  have  been  long  continued 
openly  and  shamelessly.  The  latter  are  incredibly  greater  than 
the  former,  the  former  more  easily  forgiven  than  the  latter.  So 
I  should  not  be  without  hope  that  the  repentance  of  persons  whom 
a  last  illness  might  surprise  in  some  fault  of  the  first  kind  might 
profit  them,  but  I  should  have  great  fears  for  people  of  the  other 
sort,  for  such  persons  seem  to  me  not  so  much  to  leave  their  sins 
as  their  sins  to  leave  them  ;  and  it  seems  to  me  likely  that  there 
exists  as  it  were  an  agreement  between  the  divine  mercy  and 
justice  of  God,  by  which  the  indulgent  kindness  of  His  mercy 
may  be  allowed  to  cover  those  whose  life  has  been  once  virtu- 
ously ordered,  but  who  out  of  weakness  and  from  the  treachery 
of  occasions  of  sin  which  they  never  sought  may  have 'been  so  un- 
happy as  to  fall  into  mortal  sin,  while  those  who,  giving  them- 
selves an  uninterrupted  license  in  sin,  are  so  bold  as  to  carry  on 
an  open  profession  of  wickedness  to  the  very  end  of  their  life,  will 
be  sacrificed  to  the  vengeance  of  the  justice  of  God. 

These  things  I  especially  commend  to  the  thoughts  of  those  who 
have  hitherto  found  the  holy  war  against  sin  a  war  of  doubtful  issue, 
and  marked  by  successive  alternations  of  fortune.  As  to  those 
who  are  rather  further  advanced  in  the  interior  life  and  who  have 
begun  to  taste  how  gracious  is  the  Lord,  I  advise  them  often  dur- 
ing the  course  of  the  day  to  raise  their  hearts  to  God,  to  make 
again  and  again  acts  of  faith,  of  religion,  of  hope,  and  above  all 
of  pure  and  unmixed  charity.  It  is  a  good  thing  to  know  by  heart 
lorms  of  these  acts,  taken  from  the  psalms  or  sacred  hymns,  and 
to  repeat  them  from  time  to  time.     They  may  also  be  expressed 

Notes  to  Book  IL  3 1 5 

in  common  language,  or  even  sung.  Here  is  a  metrical  exercise 
of  the  love  of  God,  without  any  mixture  of  our  own  interest,  for 
the  use  of  those  who  like  it. 

[Here  follows  the  rhythm  commonly  known  as  the  Act  of  Love 
or  Contrition  of  St.  Francis  Xavier.  There  is  a  question  whether 
it  was  not  originally  the  composition  of  St.  Ignatius ;  indeed,  the 
Spanish  sonnet  is  attributed  to  him  by  Father  Menchacha,  who 
thinks  St.  Francis  made  a  shorter  and  more  popular  form  of  the 
same,  perhaps  in  Portuguese.     The  Spanish  runs  thus  : 

No  me  mueve,  mi  Dios,  para  quererte 
El  cielo  que  me  tienes  prometido  : 
Ni  me  mueve  el  infierno  tan  temido 
Para  dexar  por  esso  de  ofenderte. 

Tu  me  mueves,  Seiior  ;  mueveme  el  verte 
Clavado  en  essa  cruz,  y  escarnecido  ; 
Mueveme  el  ver  tu  cuerpo  tan  herido  ; 
Muevenme  tus  afrentas,  y  tu  muerte. 

Muevesme  al  tu  amor  en  tal  manera, 

Que  aunque  no  hubiera  cielo,  yo  te  amara  ; 
Y  aunque  no  hubiera  infierno,  te  temiera, 

No  me  tienes  que  dar  porque  te  quiera  ; 
Que  aunque  quanto  espero,  no  esperara, 
Lo  mismo  que  te  quiero,  te  quisiera. 

The  common  Latin  version,  which,  as  will  be  seen,  though  it 
gives  the  same  thoughts,  is  not  by  any  means  a  strict  transla- 
tion, is  as  follows : 

O  Deus,  ego  amo  Te, 

Nee  amo  Te,  ut  salves  me, 

Aut  quia  non  amantes  Te 

^terno  punis  igne, 

Tu,  Tu,  mi  Jesu,  totum  me 

Amplexus  es  in  cruce  ; 

ITulisti  clavos,  lanceam, 
Multamque  ignominiam, 
Innumeros  dolores, 
Sudores,  et  angores, 
Ac  mortem ,  et  hsec  propter  me 
Ac  pro  me  peccatore. 
Cur  igitur  non  amem  Te, 
O  Jesu  amantissime  ? 
Non  ut  in  coelo  salves  me, 
Aut  ne  in  aeternum  damnes  me, 
Nee  prcemii  uUius  spe  ; 
Sed  sicut  Tu  amasti  me, 
Sic  amo  et  amabo  Te, 
Solum  quia  Rex  meus  es. 


St.  Francis  Xavier, 

The  following  English  translation  is  considered  as  the  classi- 
cal form  of  the  rhythm  in  our  language,  and  is  attributed  to  Dry- 

'  O  God,  Thou  art  the  object  of  my  love, 
Not  for  the  hopes  of  endless  joys  above, 
Nor  for  the  fear  of  endless  pains  below 
Which  those  who  love  Thee  not  must  undergo  : 
For  me,  and  such  as  me,  Thou  once  didst  bear 
The  ignominious  cross,  the  nails,  the  spear, 
A  thorny  crown  transpierced  Thy  sacred  brow. 
What  bloody  sweats  from  every  member  flow  ! 
For  me  in  torture  Thou  resign 'st  Thy  breath, 
Nailed  to  the  cross,  and  sav'dst  me  by  Thy  death  : 
Say,  can  these  sufferings  fail  my  heart  to  move  ? 
What  but  Thyself  can  now  deserve  my  love  ? 
Such  as  then  was  and  is  Thy  love  to  me. 
Such  is,  and  shall  be  still,  my  love  to  Thee. 
Thy  love,  O  Jesus,  may  I  ever  sing, 
O  God  of  love,  kind  Parent,  dearest  King  !    Amen.' 

We  do  not  possess  the  common  Portuguese  form  which  was 
current  in  India  when  F.  Philippucci  made  his  collection  of  copies 
of  letters  and  the  like.  If  we  may  judge  from  the  Latin  version 
given  us  by  Poussines  and  Menchacha,  there  were  several  thoughts 
in  it  which  do  not  occur  in  the  other  forms ;  the  latter  part  espe- 
cially, is  very  different.     For  this  reason  we  subjoin  it : 

UtTe  colam,  Deus  mens, 
Non  me  movet  terror  Tuae 
Manus  vibrantis  fulmina  ; 
Nee  horror  ignis  Tartari 
Urentis  seternum  reos. 
Tu  me,  Deus,  per  Te  moves, 
Tu,  Christe,  transfixus  trahis, 
Crux  urget,  incendit  cruor, 
Jesu,  tuis  plagis  fluens. 
Si  cesset  inlerni  metus, 
Tollatur  et  spes  gloriee, 
Ego  tamen,  mi  Conditor, 
Te,  dotibus  captus  Tuis, 
Te,  numen  admiransTuum, 
SulDlime,  sanctum,  providum, 
Amore  inempto  prosequar. 
Te,  Christe,  Te  Fill  Dei, 
Te  Virgo  proles  Virginis, 
Mansuete,  fortis,  innocens, 
Dignate  pro  nobis  mori. 
Gratis  merentem  diligam.] 

After  the  occupations  of  the  day,  when  night,  the  time  for 
rest,  arrives,  a  Christian  must  never  allow  himself  to  trust  his 
soul  to  sleep,  which  is  the  likeness  oi  death,  without  being  pre- 
pared as  for  death  itself.      For  who  can  promise  him  that  on  the 

Notes  to  Book  IL  317 

morrow  he  will  awake  in  health  of  mind  and  body  ?  If  he  is 
wise,  he  cannot  doubt  that  most  surely  during  the  night  which  is 
about  to  begin  many  in  this  wide  world  will  be  overpowered  by 
some  accident  while  they  sleep,  and  so  pass  from  sleep  to  death. 
And  since  no  one  is  able  to  guarantee  him  from  being  of  the 
number,  it  would  be  unheard  of  folly  to  neglect  those  precau- 
tions, the  irreparable  omission  of  which  may  perhaps  be  matter 
for  eternal  sorrow.  Therefore,  let  him  kneel  down  before  God, 
our  sovereign  Judge,  and  first  give  Him  thanks  for  the  great  and 
innumerable  blessings  that  He  has  given  him  during  the  course 
of  his  life,  especially  in  the  day  that  has  just  passed,  as  far  as  he 
knows  them  and  can  give  thanks  for  them  :  then  having  first 
implored  light  from  above  to  recognise  his  faults,  let  him  set  on 
the  other  side  the  evils  he  has  committed,  calling  to  mind  and 
confessing  with  shame  whatever  sins,  especially  that  day,  he  may 
have  committed,  against  or  beyond  the  law  of  God,  in  omission, 
deed,  will,  thought,  or  word. 

Having  thus  collected  his  heap  of  sins,  let  him  first  condemn 
them  in  his  own  heart  and  abominate  them  with  piercing  sorrow, 
and  then  do  away  with  them  by  the  fire  of  the  love  of  God,  which 
alone  has  power  that  can  destroy  them,  and  by  means  of  true 
contrition,  conceived  entirely  out  of  perfect  charity  for  God  Who 
deserves  infinite  love,  root  out  their  remains  and  utterly  blot 
them  out,  using  all  the  force  of  his  heart  in  this  contrition  ;  and 
then  let  him  make  a  firm  resolution  never  to  consent  to  the  like 
again,  either  for  any  hope  of  enjoyment  or  profit,  or  from  the 
fear  of  any  danger  whatsoever.  With  these  things  in  his  mind 
let  him  repeat  the  ordinary  form  of  confession  of  sins  :  /  confess 
to  Ahnighty  God,  &c.  Let  him  also  implore  the  help  of  God  to 
perform  what  he  has  promised,  making,  for  this  purpose,  prayers 
to  Jesus  Christ,  to  His  most  holy  Mother,  to  the  holy  Guardian 
Angel,  and  to  the  Saints  inhabitants  of  Heaven,  hke  the  prayers 
set  down  before. 

Parents  and  the  heads  of  families  ought  to  take  great  care  to 
accustom  their  children,  both  boys  and  girls,  from  their  tenderest 
years  to  make  these  exercises  daily  morning  and  night,  or  others 
of  the  same  kind,  as  far  as  the  capacity  of  their  age  allows  ;  and 
if  they  are  not  able  to  pray  mentally,  let  them  order  them  at 
least  vocally,  in  the  morning  when  they  rise  and  before  going  to 
sleep  at  night,  to  pray  to  God  on  their  knees,  reciting  three  times 
the  Hail  Mary,  according  to  the  custom  of  the  Church,  as  well 
as  the  Lord's  Prayer  and  the  holy  Creed  taking  care  to  dwell  rather 


St.  Francis  Xavier. 

more  distinctly  in  thought  on  the  Passion,  death,  and  resurrection 
of  Jesus  Christ. 

( 2 . )  Method  of  catechizing  the  Ignorant. 

A  good  deal  has  been  said,  both  in  the  Letters  and  in  the  text 
(pp.  152,  166),  about  Francis  Xavier's  method  of  catechizing,  or 
rather  of  holding  a  Catechetical  Service,  as  it  may  be  called.  The 
following  form  is  from  the  same  source  as  the  preceding  Daily 
Exercise.  It  is  addressed  To  the  Catechists  of  the  Society  of  Jesus 
iti  Itidia. 

I  am  going  to  lay  before  you,  my  dearest  brothers,  the  form 
and  method  of  teaching  the  elements  of  Christian  doctrine  to  these 
ignorant  nations  which  my  own  practice  and  its  results  have  ap- 
proved to  me,  hoping  that  if  you  observe  the  same  you  may  find 
yourselves  gathering  satisfactory  fruits  for  the  glory  of  God  our 
Lord  and  for  the  salvation  of  souls. 

The  people  being  assembled,  whoever  is  to  give  the  explana- 
tion of  the  Catechism  should  first  make  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and 
then,  with  his  head  uncovered  and  his  hands  raised  to  heaven, 
he  should  pronounce  in  a  clear  and  intelligible  voice,  with  two 
boys  ready  to  repeat  it  after  him,  the  Lord's  Prayer,  he  saying 
each  word  by  itself,  and  the  boys  each  word  at  once  after  him. 

Then  the  catechist  says  to  the  congregation  :  '  Now,  my  bre- 
thren, let  us  make  profession  of  our  faith,  and  let  us  make  acts  of 
the  chief  and  most  excellent  virtues,  which  are  called  theological, 
and  which  are  faith,  hope  and  charity.'  Then  he  is  to  begin 
with  faith,  asking  the  people,  '  Do  you  believe  in  One  only  true 
God,  Almighty,  Eternal,  Immense,  infinitely  Wise  ?'  All  are  to 
answer  :  '  Yes,  Father,  by  the  grace  of  God,  we  do  believe.'  The 
catechist  must  go  on:  'Then  all  repeat  together  after  me  this 
prayer  :  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  Son  of  the  living  God,  grant  us 
grace  most  firmly  to  believe  this  article  of  our  holy  faith :  let  us 
add  in  order  to  obtain  it  a  Pater  Nosier.'  This  prayer  is  to  be 
said  by  all  to  themselves  in  secret.  Then  the  teacher,  raising 
his  voice  again,  says  :  '  Now,  then,  all  repeat  after  me  :  O  holy 
Virgin  Mary,  Mother  of  God,  obtain  for  us  from  God  the  grace 
to  believe  most  firmly  this  article  of  our  holy  faith ;  and  in  order 
to  obtain  this  favour  from  her,  let  us  all  say  to  ourselves,  in  her 
honour,  the  Hail  Mary.'  After  all  have  secretly  repeated  it,  the 
teacher  continues  :  '  Do  you  believe,  my  brethren,  that  this  true 
God  is  the  One  only  God,  One  in  Essence,  and  Three  in  Persons — 

Notes  to  Book  IL  319 

God  the  Father,  God  the  Son,  and  God  the  Holy  Ghost  ?*  All 
are  to  answer  :  'Yes,  Father,  by  the  grace  of  God  we  believe  this.' 
Then  the  two  prayers  mentioned  above  are  to  be  repeated,  and 
the  Pater  and  Ave  said  secretly  by  the  people,  each  standing  in 
his  own  place.  Then  the  next  question  is  to  be  put.  '  Do  you 
believe,  my  brethren,  that  this  same  God  is  the  Creator  of  all 
things,  that  He  is  our  Saviour  and  Glorifier  ?'  And  all  answer  : 
'  We  truly  believe  this.  Father,  by  the  grace  of  God.'  Then  they 
say  the  two  prayers,  and  the  Pater  and  Ave.  In  this  way  all  the 
other  articles  of  the  Creed  are  gone  through,  principally  those 
which  relate  to  the  humanity  of  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord  ;  and  this 
is  the  form  in  which  the  questions  are  put :  '  Do  you  believe,  my 
brethren,  that  the  Second  Person  of  the  most  holy  Trinity,  the 
only-begotten  Son  of  God,  conceived  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  was  made 
flesh  in  the  womb  of  the  most  pure  Virgin  Mary,  and  was  born 
of  the  same  Mary  our  Lady,  ever  Virgin  ?'  The  people  answer  : 
'  Yes,  Father,  by  the  grace  of  God  we  believe  it.'  Then  again  is 
to  come  the  repetition  of  the  two  prayers  and  the  Pater  and  Ave, 
in  the  form  prescribed  above.  The  catechist  goes  on  :  'Do  you 
believe,  my  brethren,  that  this  same  Son  of  God,  made  man,  was 
crucified,  died,  and  was  buried  ;  that  He  descended  into  hell,  and 
that  He  set  free  the  souls  of  the  holy  fathers  who  were  there 
expecting  His  holy  coming?'  They  answer:  'Yes,  we  believe 
it,  by  the  grace  of  God,'  and  add  the  usual  prayers.  The  teacher 
asks  again  :  '  Do  you  believe  that  this  our  Lord  rose  again  the 
third  day,  and  that  He  ascended  into  heaven,  where  He  sits  at 
the  right  hand  of  God  the  Father  Almighty,  from  whence  He  will 
come  again  to  judge  the  living  and  the  dead  ;  to  examine  and 
reward  or  punish,  according  to  their  merits,  the  good  and  wicked 
actions  which  they  have  done  ?'  The  people  answer,  that  all 
this  they  perfectly  beheve,  by  the  grace  of  God  ;  and  they  add  the 
usual  prayers,  with  a  Pater  and  an  Ave.  The  catechist  continues  : 
'  Do  you  believe  that  there  is  a  hell — that  is  to  say,  an  eternal 
fire,  where  those  who  die  out  of  the  grace  of  God  will  be  tor- 
mented everlastingly  ?  That  there  is  also  a  Paradise  and  an  eter- 
nity of  glory,  which  virtuous  persons  will  enjoy  who  have  ended 
their  life  in  the  same  grace  of  God  ?  Lastly,  that  there  is  a  Pur- 
gatory, where  souls  satisfy  for  a  certain  time  the  justice  of  God, 
by  undergoing  the  punishment  of  their  sins,  in  case  that  having 
in  their  life  done  away  with  the  guilt  of  them,  they  have  yet  not 
fully  acquitted  the  debt  of  pain  which  they  had  incurred  ?'  Then 
he  should  add  :  'Do  you  believe  in  the  seven  Sacraments,  in  all 

320  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

the  doctrine  of  the  holy  Gospels,  and  in  all  else  that  the  holy 
Roman  Church  believes  and  professes  ?*  The  people  answer  :  'We 
believe  all  these  truths,  by  the  grace  of  God.'  They  add  the  two 
prayers,  with  a  Pater  and  an  Ave.  The  teacher  goes  on  :  '  Let 
us  here  offer  to  the  Holy  Spirit  these  seven  Paters  and  Aves  that 
we  have  just  repeated,  that  He  may  be  pleased  to  enrich  our  souls 
with  His  seven  gifts,  especially  those  which  may  help  us  to  believe 
most  firmly  all  that  the  holy  Catholic  faith  teaches  us.*  After 
which  he  is  to  add  :  *  And  now,  my  brethren,  we  have  made  pro- 
fession of  our  holy  faith. 

'  It  now  remains  to  make  the  acts  of  the  two  other  virtues  of 
which  we  spoke  in  the  beginning,  of  hope  and  charity.  Come, 
then,  and  say  with  me  :  O  Jesus  Christ,  my  God  and  my  Lord, 
trusting  in  Thy  divine  mercy,  I  hope  that  by  virtue  of  Thy  merits, 
directed  and  assisted  by  Thy  grace,  corresponding  myself  to  this 
grace  by  Christian  works,  and  observing  all  Thy  commandments, 
I  shall  arrive  one  day  at  the  glory  and  happiness  for  which  Thou 
hast  created  me. 

'  I  love  Thee,  O  my  God,  above  all  things,  and  with  all  my 
soul.  I  repent  of  having  offended  Thee,  being  what  Thou  art, 
most  worthy  of  all  praise,  veneration,  and  service,  because  of  the 
infinite  love  which  I  owe  Thee,  and  because  I  esteem  Thee  far 
above  everything  else,  however  great ;  and  I  make  the  firm  resolu- 
tion never  to  do  anything  which  may  be  contrary  to  Thy  divine 
will,  and  put  me  in  danger  of  losing  Thy  holy  grace.     Amen.' 

Such  should  always  be  the  opening  service  of  the  catechetical 
schools.  After  this  the  catechist  should  enter  into  a  particular 
explanation  of  some  one  of  the  dogmas  of  our  holy  faith,  of  a 
sacrament,  a  virtue,  or  prayer,  or  some  of  those  things  which  it  is 
for  the  good  of  a  Christian  to  understand  ;  setting  it  forth  in  a 
continuous  but  plain  discourse,  adapted  to  the  intelligence  of  the 
ignorant,  explaining  what  he  teaches,  and  at  the  end  confirming 
it  by  relating  some  example.  After  this  he  should  repeat  the  form 
of  general  confession  for  them,  the  children  following  him  word 
for  word  ;  at  the  same  time  bidding  all  present  to  make,  with  all 
their  heart  and  soul,  an  act  of  true  contrition — that  is  to  say,  of 
sorrow  for  sin,  formed  from  the  pure  love  of  God  Whom  they  have 
offended.  At  the  end  he  should  tell  them  all  to  say  three  Hail 
Marys,  the  first  for  those  present,  and  the  two  others  for  different 
intentions,  as  they  may  choose. 

l^otes  to  Book  II.  321 

(3.)  St.  Francis  Xavier's  Explanation  of  the  Creed. 

It  will  be  convenient  to  give  in  this  place  another  document 
which  remains  to  us  of  the  same  kind  with  the  last.  It  is  a  long 
explanation  of  the  Creed  written  by  St.  Francis  for  the  people  of 
the  Moluccas.  We  have  referred  to  it  above  (p.  168),  and  it  may 
safely  be  assumed  that  it  represents  the  ordinary  manner  in  which 
Francis  Xavier  explained  the  articles  of  the  Creed  to  the  ignorant 
and  to  converts  from  heathenism.  Theologians  will  be  much 
struck  with  the  refined  and  careful  tone  of  the  doctrine  on  certain 
more  difficult  points,  as  for  instance,  the  salvation  of  the  heathen, 
and  the  like. 

Catechetical  Explanation  of  the  Creed  for  the  Inhabitants  of 
the  Moluccas. 

1.  It  delights  Christians  to  hear  and  learn  the  manner  and 
the  order  in  which  God  made  all  things  out  of  nothing,  for  the 
use  and  service  of  man.  In  the  beginning  He  created  the  hea- 
vens and  the  earth,  the  Angels,  the  sun,  the  moon  and  the  stars, 
the  day  and  the  night ;  plants  and  herbs  of  all  kinds,  roots  and 
berries,  and  fruits  of  trees ;  the  birds  and  animals  which  live  upon 
the  earth  ;  the  sea,  the  rivers,  and  lakes,  and  all  things  living 
in  the  waters.  And  after  all  these  things  had  been  created.  He 
made,  last  of  all,  man,  whom  He  formed  after  His  own  image  and 

2.  The  first  man  created  by  God  was  Adam,  and  the  first 
woman  Eve.  Having  formed  and  breathed  into  them  both  the 
breath  of  life,  and  having  placed  them  in  the  terrestrial  Paradise, 
He  blessed  them,  betrothed  them  to  one  another,  and  united  them 
in  the  bond  of  marriage,  and  commanding  them  so  united  to  pro- 
duce children,  and  fill  the  earth  with  inhabitants.  Of  this  pair, 
Adam  and  Eve,  we  are  all  born  ;  from  them  all  nations  every- 
where have  sprung.  In  this  first  type  of  our  race  we  see  an  ex- 
ample of  the  unity  of  human  marriage.  For,  as  the  God  of  all 
wisdom,  the  Author  of  nature,  did  not  give  Adam  more  than  one 
wife,  it  is  plain  how  contrary  to  the  authority  of  God  is  the  license 
in  this  matter  which  Mussulmans  and  idolaters  and — what  is  still 
more  wicked  and  deplorable — bad  Christians  also  sometimes  take, 
to  have  many  women  at  once  living  with  them  ;  and  even  those 
who  live  with  one  concubine  alone  do  not  escape  the  condemna- 
tion from  this  primitive  law ;  for  God  did  not  permit  Adam  and 

VOL.  1.  Y 

3  22  St  Francis  Xavier. 

Eve  to  beget  children  till  they  had  first  been  united  by  the  bond 
of  lawful  marriage  by  their  Creator. 

3.  Therefore  fornicators,  inasmuch  as  they  are  rebels  against 
God  Who  made  them,  must  expect  punishment  fitted  to  their  crime. 

.Let  those  also  who  worship  idols  understand  from  this  how  great  a 
crime  they  are  guilty  of;  leaving  and  despising  the  one  true  God, 
the  only  true  Creator  of  all  things,  they  worship,  in  their  fanatical 
error,  mute  idols  and  phantoms  of  hell;  and  though  sound  reason 
plainly  shows  us  that  we  ought  to  seek  the  rule  of  our  life  from 
Him  Who  gave  us  the  principle  of  life,  they,  in  their  sacrilegious 
folly,  trust  all  their  hopes  and  all  their  actions  to  witchcraft,  the 
casting  of  lots,  and  the  pretended  foretellings  of  diviners.  They 
pay  to  the  devil — the  implacable  enemy  of  their  salvation — the 
faith  and  veneration  which  they  owe  to  God,  the  Author  of  all 
good  things,  from  Whom  they  have  received  their  soul,  their  body, 
all  that  they  are,  all  their  powers,  and  all  that  they  possess.  Im- 
piety not  more  shameful  and  detestable  in  itself  than  fatal  to  the 
poor  wretches  who  are  guilty  of  it ;  for  this  senseless  superstition 
excludes  them  from  heaven,  where  a  dwelling  place  of  eternal  rest 
full  of  all  delights  is  prepared  for  souls  who  worship  God — the 
blessed  abode  of  that  felicity  for  which  the  Creator,  in  His  infinite 
goodness,  made  mankind. 

4.  How  much  wiser  are  real  Christians  !  Faithful  to  God 
their  Lord,  they  believe  in  Him  and  worship  Him  in  spirit ;  and 
with  all  their  mind  and  all  the  affections  of  their  heart  embrace 
Him,  the  one  only  true,  supreme,  and  eternal  Spirit,  the  Maker 
of  heaven  and  earth ;  and  they  show  this  the  religion  of  their  heart 
by  outward  signs  of  devotion,  by  frequenting  the  sacred  churches, 
where  they  see  around  the  altars  erected  in  honour  of  the  living 
God  images  of  Jesus  Christ  His  Son,  of  the  Virgin  Mother  of 
God,  and  of  the  Saints,  God's  servants,  who,  after  a  life  passed 
faithfully  in  His  service,  reign  with  Him  in  the  glory  of  Paradise. 

5.  In  the  midst  of  these  solemn  figures,  which  fill  them  with 
holy  memories  of  the  things  and  persons  which  they  represent, 
kneeling  on  the  ground,  their  hands  raised  to  heaven,  towards 
which  they  turn  their  eyes  and  hearts,  they  confess  their  belief  in 
God,  Whose  dwelling  place  it  is,  in  Whom  alone  they  place  all  their 
happiness  and  consolation,  by  these  words  attributed  to  St.  Peter: 
*  I  believe  in  God,  the  Father  Almighty,  Creator  of  heaven  and 
earth.*  God  created  the  Angels  in  heaven  before  He  created  man 
on  earth.  Now,  the  larger  number  of  the  Angels  eagerly  at  once 
adored  their  God,  rendering  thanks,  an^d  glorifying  Him  for  the 

Notes  to  Book  IL  323 

blessing  of  creation.  Lucifer,  on  the  other  hand,  and  many  Angels 
with  him,  refused  to  pay  due  adoration  to  their  Creator ;  they  said 
in  their  pride,  Let  us  rise  up,  and  make  ourselves  like  unto  God, 
Who  reigns  in  the  highest  heavens.  To  punish  this  proud  rebel- 
lion God  cast  Lucifer  and  the  Angels  who  followed  him  out  of 
heaven  into  hell. 

6.  Lucifer,  thus  cast  down  from  heaven,  saw  Adam  and  Eve, 
the  first  of  mankind,  and  was  jealous  of  the  grace  in  which  God 
had  created  them  ;  and  to  cause  them  to  fall  thence,  he  put  into 
their  hearts  pride  like  to  that  which  had  made  him  fall  from  hea- 
ven. He  met  them  in  the  earthly  Paradise,  and  set  before  them 
the  false  hope  of  attaining  honour  equal  to  that  of  God,  if  they 
ate  of  the  fruit  forbidden  by  their  Creator.  Adam  and  Eve  were 
lifted  up  in  heart  at  the  false  representation  that  they  would  be- 
come like  God,  and,  consenting  to  the  temptation,  ate  of  the  fruit 
of  the  forbidden  tree,  and  at  once  fell  from  the  grace  in  which 
they  had  been  created,  and  presently,  as  a  punishment  for  their 
sin,  God  drove  them  out  of  the  earthly  Paradise.  From  that 
time  they  lived  in  banishment  from  the  abode  of  bliss  in  a  con- 
dition of  toil  and  labour  during  nine  hundred  years,  doing  penance 
for  the  sin  they  had  committed,  the  guilt  of  which  was  so  beyond 
all  expiation,  that  however  great  an  amount  of  the  most  severe  suf- 
ferings Adam  and  his  children  might  pay,  all  would  be  insufficient 
to  blot  out  the  stain,  and  restore  to  them  their  former  hope  of 
gaining  eternal  happiness,  which  they  had  been  deprived  of,  as  a 
just  punishment  for  the  mad  pride  in  which  they  had  desired  to 
become  like  God.  So  that,  from  that  time,  the  gates  of  heaven 
remained  closed  to  them  by  impenetrable  barriers,  which  inexor- 
ably shut  out  Adam  and  his  posterity  from  all  access  to  that  glory 
which  he  had  irreparably  lost,  by  committing  a  sin  which  involved 
the  ruin  both  of  himself  and  oi  all  his  children. 

7.  O  Christians,  what  then  will  be  our  miserable  fate  ?  L  so 
many  Angels  for  one  single  sin  of  pride  were  driven  headlong  from 

I  heaven  and  cast  into  the  depths  of  hell — if  Adam  and  Eve  for  a 
like  sin  of  pride  lost  the  blessed  possession  Oi  the  earthly  Para- 
dise— what  hope,  what  means  have  we,  who  are  degraded  by  a 
great  flood  of  sins  of  all  kind,  of  ever  rising  out  of  the  impurity 
which  holds  us  last,  oi  washing  away  our  stains  and  soaring  to  the 
highest  heaven,  where  an  abode  oi  immortal  blessedness  has  been 
prepared  by  God  ior  immortal  souls  ?  Alas,  all  hope  was  lost  ; 
the  damnation  and  eternal  ruin  oi  the  human  race  were  certain, 

324  St.  Francis  Xavier, 

friend,  and  the  Angels  who,  hke  him,  had  remained  dutiful  and 
obedient  and  were  in  possession  of  the  reward  of  their  constancy, 
the  most  blissful  enjoyment  of  eternal  glory  in  the  heavens,  all 
together,  taking  compassion  on  the  calamities  of  the  human  race, 
fell  in  humble  supplication  at  the  feet  of  God,  and  endeavoured  to 
win  from  Him  by  prayers  some  remedy  for  the  immense  evils 
which,  by  the  sin  of  Adam  and  Eve,  had  spread  like  a  great  flood 
over  all  their  descendants ;  making  their  prayers  in  some  such 
way  as  this  : 

8.  '  O  God  of  goodness,  most  merciful  Lord  and  Father  of  all 
nations,  now  at  last  the  time  is  come,  the  day  so  much  expected 
from  the  beginning  of  ages  has  begun  to  shine,  the  day  which 
Thou  hast  destined  from  all  eternity  and  prepared,  to  show  in  it 
Thy  mercy  towards  lost  mankind.  We  see  already  the  dawn  of 
that  day  which  is  to  open  again  the  gates  of  Heaven  to  the  chil- 
dren of  Adam,  once  more  restored  to  the  grace  of  being  Thine 
adopted  sons  ;  since  now,  from  the  holy  Joachim  and  Anne,  is  born 
a  daughter,  that  Virgin  most  holy  above  women,  in  whom  is  not 
the  sin  of  Adam,  Mary  by  name,  whose  virtues  and  holiness  sur- 
pass incomparably  in  excellence  all  beings  lower  than  God.  And 
this  Virgin  being  so  pure  and  noble,  it  seems  a  work  not  un- 
worthy of  Thy  infinite  and  most  wise  Omnipotence  to  form  of  her 
virginal  blood,  as  it  is  easy  to  Thee,  O  Lord,  to  do,  a  human 
body,  as  of  old,  O  Lord,  Thou  didst  form  the  body  of  Adam,  when 
so  it  seemed  good  to  Thy  holy  will.  And  into  this  body,  formed 
of  the  most  pure  substance  of  the  Virgin,  Thou  canst  also.  Al- 
mighty Lord,  at  the  same  time  create  and  infuse,  uniting  them 
by  the  most  intimate  union,  some  chosen  and  most  beautiful  soul, 
surpassing  in  holiness  all  the  souls  that  Thou  hast  ever  yet  created 
or  ever  wilt  create' — [Meantime  God  had  resolved,  in  the  secret 
counsels  of  the  Holy  Trinity,  to  join  a  Divine  Person  with  our  hu- 
man nature  in  the  womb  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary,] — 'in  order 
that  of  this  Virgin,  the  most  perfect  of  all  others,  should  be  born 
Jesus  Christ,  Thy  Son,  the  Saviour  of  the  universe.  And  thus, 
O  Lord,  will  the  Scriptures  be  accomplished,  thus  will  the  pro- 
mises be  faithfully  fulfilled  by  which  Thou  hast  bound  Thyself  to 
the  prophets  and  patriarchs.  Thy  friends,  who,  relying  upon  them, 
are  now  waiting  in  Limbus  Thy  Son  Jesus  Christ,  their  Lord  and 
their  Redeemer.* 

9.  At  this  prayer  of  the  holy  Angels,  the  Most  High,  the  so- 
vereign Lord  and  Almighty  God  of  all,  touched  by  infinite  com- 
passion for  our  immense  misery,  most  clearly  known  by  Him,  sent 

Notes  to  Book  IL  2>'^^ 

from  heaven  the  holy  archangel  Gabriel  to  the  city  of  Nazareth, 
where  the  Virgin  Mary  dwelt ;  and  this  angel,  as  he  had  been 
ordered  by  Him  Who  sent  him,  said  to  her,  '  Hail,  Mary,  full  of 
grace,  the  Lord  is  with  thee  :  blessed  art  thou  among  women  ; 
the  Holy  Ghost  shall  come  upon  thee,  and  the  power  of  the  Most 
High  shall  overshadow  thee  ;  and  the  Holy  One  Who  shall  be 
born  of  thee  shall  be  called  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God.'  On 
hearing  these  words  of  the  Archangel,  the  most  holy  Virgin  Mary 
answered  :  '  Behold  the  handmaid  of  the  Lord,  be  it  done  unto 
me  according  to  thy  word.'  At  the  very  moment  that  the  most 
holy  Virgin  gave  her  consent  to  what  was  proposed  to  her  from 
God  by  the  holy  Archangel,  God  formed  in  the  womb  of  the  Vir- 
gin, out  of  her  most  pure  blood,  a  human  body,  to  which  He 
most  closely  joined  a  soul  created  at  the  same  instant  ;  and  then 
the  Second  Person  of  the  holy  Trinity,  God  the  Son,  became 
Incarnate  in  the  womb  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  uniting  to  His  divine 
Person  that  soul  and  that  body,  both  infinitely  holy. 

10.  After  this,  nine  full  months  having  elapsed  from  the  day 
in  which  the  Son  of  God  became  Incarnate  to  that  of  His  birth, 
Jesus  Christ  the  Saviour  of  the  whole  world,  true  God  and  true 
man,  was  born  of  the  Virgin  Mary  ;  and  this  is  what  St.  Andrew 
professed  in  these  words  :  '  I  believe  in  Jesus  Christ,  the  only  Son 
of  God  our  Lord  ;'  to  which  St.  John  added  at  the  same  instant  : 
•Who  was  conceived  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  born  of  the  Virgin 
Mary.'  Christ  our  Lord  and  Redeemer  was  born  at  Bethlehem, 
near  Jerusalem.  It  was  there  that  the  Angels,  and  the  Virgin  His 
Mother,  with  St.  Joseph  and  the  Three  Kings  of  the  East,  and 
many  others  besides,  adored  Him  as  their  Sovereign  Lord. 

11.  Meanwhile  Herod,  who  was  reigning  in  Jerusalem,  fearing 
lest  his  kingdom,  to  which  he  was  passionately  attached,  would 
be  taken  from  him  by  this  Child,  desired  to  kill  Him.  But  his 
cruel  intention  was  baffled,  Jesus  was  taken  away  in  time.  Joseph 
having  been  warned  in  a  dream  by  an  Angel,  had  fled  from  Beth- 
lehem into  Egypt,  carrying  with  him  Jesus  Christ  and  the  Virgin 
His  Mother  ;  and  he  remained  there  until  Herod  ended  his  life 
by  a  most  wretched  death.  So  great  had  been  his  barbarity,  that 
he  had  slain  in  Bethlehem  and  round  about  all  the  children  of 
two  years  old  and  under,  thinking  that  Jesus  Christ  would  be  in- 
cluded in  the  massacre.  That  however  was  false,  for  Jesus  was 
saved,  as  we  have  said,  and  He  returned  with  the  Virgin  His 
Mother  and  St.  Joseph  into  their  own  country  and  to  the  city  of 
Nazareth,  Joseph  having  been  warned  in  Egypt  by  an  Angel. 

32t)  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

12.  When  Jesus  had  reached  the  age  of  twelve  years  He  went 
up  from  Nazareth  to  Jerusalem  to  the  Temple,  where  were  the 
doctors  of  the  law,  and  He  explained  to  them  the  Scriptures  of 
the  prophets  and  the  patriarchs,  who  had  foretold  the  coming  of 
the  Son  of  God,  teaching  them  with  so  wonderful  a  show  of  rare 
wisdom  that  all  who  heard  Him  wondered.  From  thence  He 
went  back  to  Nazareth,  where  He  remained  till  He  was  about 
thirty  years  of  age,  when  He  went  to  the  river  Jordan,  where  St. 
John  the  Baptist  was  baptizing  great  numbers  of  persons  who 
came  to  him,  among  whom  John  baptized  Jesus  Christ  Himself 
in  the  waters  of  the  Jordan.  From  thence  Jesus  withdrew  to  a 
desert  mountain,  where  during  forty  days  and  forty  nights  He 
abstained  from  all  meat  and  drink.  On  this  mountain  the  devil, 
not  knowing  that  Jesus  Christ  was  the  Son  of  God,  strove  to  make 
Him  fall  into  the  three  sins  of  gluttony,  covetousness,  and  vain- 

13.  But,  repelling  all  these  temptations  and  victorious  over  the 
devil,  Jesus  quitted  the  mountain  and  descended  into  Gahlee,  where 
He  converted  great  multitudes,  cast  out  many  devils  from  the  bodies 
of  men  possessed  by  them,  commanding  them  to  depart  thence, 
and  even  these  obstinate  and  rebel  spirits  instantly  obeyed  Him;  the 
people  being  justly  tilled  with  admiration,  publishing  everywhere 
the  fame  of  His  divine  doctrine,  set  forth  in  discourses  of  infinite 
wisdom,  and  also  of  His  wonder-working  power,  which  was  re- 
vealed by  the  healing  of  all  sorts  of  sickness.  Hence  many  were 
persuaded  to  give  heed  to  the  discourses  of  a  Teacher  of  so  much 
authority,  and  vied  one  with  another  in  bringing  to  Him  all  the 
sick  persons  afflicted  with  whatever  disease  ;  and  Jesus  touching 
them  with  His  most  holy  hands,  did  away  with  all  their  maladies, 
and  sent  them  home,  at  once  healed  and  filled  with  gratitude. 

14.  After  this  Jesus  called  twelve  Apostles  and  seventy-two 
disciples,  whom  He  took  round  with  Him  in  His  journeys  from 
city  to  city  and  village  to  village,  teaching  the  mysteries  of  the 
kingdom  of  God  and  preaching  to  the  crowds  who  came  together, 
confirming  the  truth  of  what  He  taught  by  numberless  and  great 
miracles  ;  for  in  the  sight  of  all  the  people,  in  the  presence  of 
His  Apostles  and  disciples.  He  used  to  restore  sight  to  the  blind, 
speech  to  the  dumb,  hearing  to  the  deaf,  movement  to  the  lame 
and  to  the  paralytic  ;  and  the  sight  of  these  daily  miracles  con- 
firmed His  Apostles  and  disciples  more  and  more  in  their  faith 
in  Jesus  Christ,  Who  communicated  to  them  so  much  power  and 
wisdom  that,  though  rude  and  illiterate  fishermen,  they  preached 

Notes  to  Book  11.  327 

to  the  people,  the  divine  doctrine  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God, 
supplying  in  them  the  want  of  study  and  human  learning.  More- 
over, by  the  invocation  of  His  name,  the  Apostles  themselves  also 
wrought  wonders,  delivering  men  from  different  maladies  and  from 
the  possession  of  evil  spirits,  and  by  these  works,  surpassing  all 
human  power,  setting  a  seal  to  the  truths  which  they  announced 
as  to  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  God  ;  so  that  though  these  truths 
were  so  new,  they  were  proved  and  made  abundantly  credible  by 
the  witness  of  so  many  miraculous  signs  bearing  the  undoubted 
character  of  Divine  testimony. 

15.  The  great  fame  of  Jesus  and  of  His  disciples  having  spread 
throughout  Judea,  came  to  the  notice  of  the  chief  men  of  the  nation, 
men  full  of  a  vain  opinion  of  themselves,  and  of  those  especially 
who  were  called  Pharisees,  supercilious  despisers  of  everything  ex- 
cellent, who  used  to  be  angry  if  any  party  or  any  sect  except  their 
own  obtained  even  a  slight  renown  for  learning  :  and  so  it  may 
easily  be  imagined  what  a  bitter  pang  it  must  have  been  for  these 
proud  persons  to  find  Jesus  Christ,  Who  censured  their  doctrine, 
listened  to  with  applause  by  the  people,  and  so  highly  esteemed 
and  considered  in  the  enthusiasm  of  the  multitude,  that  it  seemed 
almost  to  be  imminent  that  they  themselves  would  be  thrust  out 
of  the  highest  place  in  authority  and  reputation  which  they  had  so 
long  held,  and  the  new  Teacher  raised  to  their  place  with  the  hand- 
ful of  fishermen  who  formed  his  train.  Moved,  therefore,  by  the 
fury  of  hellish  envy,  they  determined  to  put  in  motion  all  the  arti- 
fices of  calumny  in  order  to  take  away  both  the  reputation  and  the 
life  of  Jesus  Christ. 

1 6.  With  this  intention  they  beset  with  artful  words  those  who 
were  at  the  head  of  affairs,  and  also  persuaded  Pilate,  at  that  time 
governor  of  Judea,  after  having  plied  him  with  entreaties,  sugges- 
tions of  suspicion,  and  direct  charges,  to  grant  them  the  arrest  of 
Jesus,  which  they  clamoured  for  as  necessary  for  the  public  peace. 
The  foreign  governor  allowed  himself  to  be  so  far  gained  over  by  the 
crafty  machinations  of  these  men  ;  not  that  he  was  ignorant  that 
their  allegation  of  the  public  good  was  only  a  veil  to  cover  their 
own  envy,  but  either  from  weariness  of  resisting  their  importunate 
demands  or  from  a  desire  to  win  favour  with  the  more  powerful  of 
the  people,  he  thought  it  worth  while  to  purchase  his  own  tranquil- 
lity or  the  favour  of  others  at  the  cost  of  an  illustrious  man,  who 
seemed  quite  of  the  same  stamp  as  Ehas  and  Jeremias  among  the 
ancients,  or  John  the  Baptist  among  men  of  that  time,  but  whom 
he  did  not  suppose  superior  to  human  nature.  For  if  he  had  clearly 

328  St  Francis  Xavier. 

known  that  Jesus  was  the  Son  of  God,  it  does  not  seem  that  any 
influence  could  have  prevailed  upon  him  to  deliver  Him  to  the  fury 
of  His  envious  enemies. 

17.  Jesus  being  thus  taken  prisoner  by  the  authority  of  the 
government,  His  enemies  out  of  their  own  malice  went  on  further  to 
insure  themselves  that  He  should  be  treated  with  all  possible  cruelty 
and  ignominy  by  their  own  servants.  He  was  dragged  through 
the  ways  and  principal  places  of  the  city,  in  the  midst  of  a  crowd 
who  offered  Him  every  sort  of  outrage,  hurried  with  violence  from 
one  house  to  another  before  different  tribunals,  mocked,  reviled, 
spit  upon,  and  beaten  with  blows,  and  so  at  last  brought  before 
Pilate,  with  false  witnesses  against  Him,  amidst  the  furious  clam- 
ours of  the  excited  mob,  who  cried  out  for  His  death  and  for  His 
death  upon  the  cross.  Nevertheless  the  judge  hesitated,  knowing 
the  innocence  of  the  accused  ;  until  they  suggested  to  him  that  he 
would  lose  Ceesar's  favour  if  he  set  free  a  man  designated  King  of 
the  Jews  and  Who  would  soon  raise  a  revolt ;  and  thus  he  was 
made  to  yield  to  the  wishes  of  the  accusers,  and  gave  up  Jesus. 
After  he  had  caused  Him  to  be  inhumanly  torn  by  scourges  over 
His  whole  body  from  head  to  foot,  he  delivered  Him  up  to  be 
crucified  by  the  Jews,  who  demanded  this  with  savage  clamour. 

1 8.  But  before  they  crucified  Him,  the  emissaries  of  the  Phari- 
sees, having  dressed  Him  in  mockery  with  the  robes  of  a  king, 
with  a  crown  of  thorns  on  His  head,  a  reed  for  a  sceptre  in  His 
hand,  made  sport  of  Him,  bowing  the  knee  before  Him  in  ironical 
homage,  and  hailing  Him  King  of  the  Jews,  and  then  spitting  in 
His  face,  striking  Him  on  the  cheek  again  and  again,  and  snatch- 
ing the  reed  from  His  right  hand  to  strike  Him  with  it  on  His  head 
crowned  with  thorns.  At  last  they  nailed  Him  to  a  cross  on 
Mount  Calvary,  near  the  city  of  Jerusalem.  Thus  Jesus  Christ 
died  upon  the  cross,  in  order  to  save  sinful  men;  so  that  His  most 
holy  soul  was  truly  separated  from  His  most  precious  body  at  the 
moment  that  He  expired  upon  the  cross,  and  yet  that  both  His 
soul  and  body,  although  disunited,  never  ceased  each  to  remain 
joined  to  the  divine  Person.  And  as  the  spirit  fled  without  ceasing 
to  be  united  to  the  Divinity,  so  also  the  lifeless  body,  whether  when 
it  hung  on  the  cross  or  was  laid  and  buried  in  the  tomb,  always 
and  everywhere  had  with  it  the  inseparable  company  of  the  Divin- 
ity most  closely  joined  to  it,  and  was  never  separated  from  that 

19.  Moreover,  at  the  death  of  Jesus  Christ  the  sun  was  dark- 
ened and  lost  its  light,  the  whole  earth  trembled,  the  rocks  were  rent 

Notes  to  Book  IL  329 

and  dashed  against  one  another,  the  graves  of  the  dead  opened  of 
themselves,  and  many  bodies  of  the  saints  came  forth,  who  showed 
themselves  restored  to  life  to  many  in  the  city  of  Jerusalem.  At 
the  sight  of  these  prodigies,  those  who  stood  by  Christ  as  He  died 
were  convinced,  and  cried  out :  Truly  this  man  was  the  Son  of 
God !  All  these  things  which  we  have  just  related  are  contained 
in  the  profession  of  the  Apostle  St.  James,  who  added  to  the  words 
expressed  by  the  preceding  Apostles  :  '  I  believe  in  Jesus  Christ, 
Who  suffered  under  Pontius  Pilate,  was  crucified,  dead,  and  buried.' 
Jesus  Christ  was  God,  since  He  was  the  second  Person  of  the  most 
Holy  Trinity  ;  at  the  same  time  He  was  truly  man,  being  the  son 
of  the  Virgin  Mary,  and  possessing  a  rational  soul  and  a  human 
body.  In  so  much  as  He  was  man.  He  died  really  upon  the  cross 
while  He  was  nailed  to  it.  For  death  is  nothing  else  but  the 
separation  of  the  soul  from  the  body,  in  which  and  with  which 
it  has  lived.  And  the  most  holy  soul  of  Jesus  Christ  was  separated 
from  His  body  when  He  expired  upon  the  cross. 

20.  And  then  that  most  sacred  soul  separated  from  His  body, 
and  remaining  united  to  the  Divinity  of  the  Son  of  God,  as  it  had 
always  been  since  our  Lord  God  created  it,  descended  into  Limbus. 
Limbus  is  a  place  beneath  the  earth  in  which  were  detained  the 
souls  of  the  holy  fathers,  prophets,  patriarchs,  and  many  others, 
assembled  there  waiting  for  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  God,  by 
Whom  they  knew  they  should  be  delivered  and  transferred  from 
this  abode  to  Paradise.  For  from  the  beginning  of  the  creation 
there  have  always  lived  in  the  world  good  men,  who,  as  they 
had  been  friends  of  God,  had  freely  professed  the  holy  truths  they 
understood  and  never  dissembled  what  they  believed  before  the 
wicked  who  opposed  them.  They  reproved  sinners,  blaming  se- 
verely the  wickedness  of  any  who  rebelled  shamelessly  against  God, 
the  one  Creator  of  all.  But  wicked  and  criminal  men  would  not 
endure  their  censures  :  and  so,  by  the  inspiration  and  assistance 
of  the  devil,  their  sworn  accomplice,  under  whose  banners  they 
were  enrolled,  they  persecuted  the  good  men,  the  friends  of  God, 
with  every  kind  of  evil  deed,  making  them  prisoners,  banishing 
them,  and  vexing  them  with  every  kind  of  injury  and  insult. 

21.  Corresponding  to  this  great  difference  between  the  lives  of 
the  good  and  the  wicked  was  the  very  different  condition  of  their 
souls  when  death  had  separated  their  souls  from  their  bodies.  All 
the  souls  who  during  their  life  had  been  virtuous  went,  when  death 
had  set  them  free  from  the  bonds  of  the  body,  to  the  place  just  now 
mentioned,  which  I  said  was  called  Limbus,  which  being  sunk  far 

2^0  St,  Francis  Xavier, 

down  beneath  the  surface  of  the  earth,  is  also  called  hell  ;  not  that 
there,  as  we  understand  when  we  speak  of  the  place  called  simply 
and  properly  hell,  there  was  any  fire  to  torment  them,  or  any  other 
hurtful  power  to  give  them  pain.  Such  punishments  are  reserved 
for  the  wicked,  whilst  the  souls  of  the  just,  as  became  souls  free 
from  stain  and  dear  to  God,  rested  in  the  repose  of  a  most  blessed 

2  2.  But  below  this  abode  of  bliss  is  a  lower  region  called  Pur- 
gatory, because  it  is  as  a  sort  of  cleansing  place  for  purifying  and 
making  beautiful  those  souls  who  have  ended  their  mortal  life  guilt- 
less of  heinous  sin,  in  the  grace  of  God,  but  who  still  have  the  lighter 
marks  of  venial  faults,  or  who  have  not  yet  acquitted  the  debt  in- 
curred by  mortal  sins,  which  have  been  indeed  retracted  by  salutary 
penance,  but  not  so  fully  and  perfectly  as  to  get  rid  of  the  whole 
debt  of  the  punishment  due  to  their  guilt.  Here  they  continue  to 
rub  off,  by  the  continued  action  of  severe  torments,  the  stains  which 
still  cling  to  them  from  the  foul  sin  which  of  old  encrusted  them, 
until  at  length  they  have  balanced  the  whole  account  as  to  guilt 
and  as  to  pain  which  they  were  charged  with,  and  got  rid  of  all  re- 
mains of  either  of  these  by  means  of  suffering  ;  and  so  their  spirits 
have  become  clean  even  to  extreme  brightness,  and  are  allowed 
freely  to  behold  their  inheritance,  the  delay  of  the  possession  of 
which  for  a  certain  just  time  they  have  had  to  bear  as  a  punish- 

23.  The  last  of  these  abodes  beneath  the  earth  is  Hell  pro- 
perly so  called,  a  most  miserable  abode  of  flames  for  ever  inex- 
tinguishable, and  of  such  unutterable  and  intolerable  torments  of 
every  other  kind,  that  if  living  men  were  only  to  apply  themselves 
seriously  each  day  for  the  space  of  one  little  hour,  in  picturing  to 
themselves,  even  as  imperfectly  as  the  dimness  of  our  present  state 
permits,  the  nature  of  these  torments,  they  would  certainly  feel 
greater  horror  of  making  themselves  guilty  of  all  the  crime  and 
wickedness  by  which  they  do  not  hesitate,  almost  in  sport  and  with 
easy  carelessness,  to  incur  the  sentence  of  having  to  endure  these 
fearful  torments  throughout  all  eternity.  There  is  Lucifer,  prince 
of  the  spirits  who  rebelled  against  God.  There  are  all  the  devils 
who  followed  his  party,  and  were  cast  down  thither  with  him  from 
heaven.  There  are  all  those  men  who,  from  the  beginning  of  the 
world,  have  breathed  their  last  out  of  the  grace  of  God  and  guilty 
of  mortal  sin.  Those  who  have  once  been  cast  into  these  flames 
of  hell  suffer  and  groan  there  eternally  and  hopelessly,  ever  tor- 
mented by  the  keenest  sense  01  immense  and  numberless  pains,  of 

Notes  to  Book  IL  2>?>  ^ 

which  they  know  for  certain  that  they  can  never  have,  from  any 
quarter  at  all,  throughout  an  eternity  of  ages,  any  remedy  or  any 
relaxation  or  any  consolation,  however  small. 

24.  O  my  brethren,  what  madness  is  this  of  ours,  that  we  go 
on  living  so  careless  as  we  do  of  all  fear  of  hell,  while  we  are  all 
the  time  preparing  food  for  those  undying  flames  by  heaping  upon 
our  consciences  the  burthens  of  sin  ever  worse  and  worse  !  Is  not 
this  a  plain  sign  that  our  faith  is,  I  do  not  say  small,  but  altoge- 
ther none  ?  We  profess  it  indeed  with  our  mouths,  but  our  deeds 
and  our  life  refute  it  far  more  cogently  ;  for  one  who  calls  himself 
a  Christian,  and  allows  himself  that  license  in  sin  which  the  Mus- 
sulmans and  idolaters  take,  must  certainly  be  thought  a  deceiver 
and  liar  when  he  says  that  he  believes  in  the  everlasting  fires  and 
punishments  of  hell  reserved  for  those  who  violate  God's  law.  The 
Church,  whether  of  the  faithful  who  are  militant  on  earth,  or  of 
the  Saints  who  reign  with  God  triumphant  in  heaven,  never  prays 
for  the  dead  who  have  been  cast  into  the  pit  of  hell ;  for  she  well 
knows  they  are  shut  out  from  Paradise  for  all  eternity,  that  their 
hope  is  absolutely  lost,  their  ruin  irreparable.  But  the  Church, 
both  on  earth  and  in  heaven,  aids  with  charitable  prayers  the 
souls  who  suffer  in  the  pains  of  Purgatory,  and  is  also  full  of  care 
for  the  souls  who  are  still  in  this  world ;  she  strives  to  obtain  them 
grace  from  God,  by  means  of  which  they  may  escape  the  utter 
misery  of  falling  into  the  everlasting  flames  of  hell. 

25.  Jesus  Christ  died  on  Friday,  and  His  most  holy  soul, 
always  united  to  the  Divinity,  descended  into  Limbus,  and  led 
from  thence  all  the  souls  whom  He  found  there  awaiting  His 
coming  ;  and  then  on  the  third  day,  which  was  Sunday,  He  rose 
from  the  dead,  reuniting  His  most  holy  soul  to  the  body  which  it 
had  quitted  when  He  expired  upon  the  cross.  Presently,  in  His 
recovered  life  and  in  full  possession  of  all  the  qualities  of  immor- 
tality. He  appeared  first  to  His  most  sacred  Virgin  Mother  Mary, 
then  to  His  Apostles  and  disciples,  and  others  dear  to  Him,  so 
that  all  that  most  bitter  grief  which  they  had  suffered  at  His 
death  was  wiped  away  and  abundantly  compensated.  He  also 
offered,  by  means  of  His  Apostles,  pardon  to  His  enemies  and  to 
those  who  had  crucified  Him,  and  granted  it  to  all  who  consented 
to  receive  this  grace.  There  were  great  numbers  of  these  ;  for  it 
turned  out  wonderfully  that  many  of  those  who  had  obstinately 
refused  to  believe  in  Jesus  Christ  when  He  was  alive,  preaching, 
and  confirming  what  He  taught  by  great  miracles,  yet, — when  He 
was  no  longer  seen  or  heard,  but  believed,  on  the  testimony  of  His 

332  5/.  Francis  Xavier. 

Apostles,  to  have  risen  from  the  dead, — these  same  put  full  faith 
in  Him,  placed  all  their  hope  in  Him,  and  professed  His  reli- 
gion and  His  worship,  as  the  religion  and  the  worship  of  God  and 
the  Saviour  of  men.  And  that  what  we  have  thus  been  putting 
forth  is  true,  affirmed  by  St.  Thomas  in  these  words  :  •  I  believe 
in  Jesus  Christ,  who  descended  into  hell,  and  the  third  day  rose 
again  from  the  dead.* 

26.  Jesus  remained  upon  the  earth  after  His  resurrection  from 
the  dead  for  forty  days,  for  two  reasons,  as  far  as  we  can  under- 
stand. First,  in  order  fully  to  convince  His  disciples  of  His  re- 
surrection, and  secondly  to  teach  them  what  they  must  do.  They 
had  been  so  disturbed  by  the  most  unexpected  event  of  His  death, 
they  had  been  so  swallowed  up  by  sorrow  on  that  account,  that 
they  were  brought  with  the  greatest  difficulty  to  believe  in  His 
resurrection  ;  nor  was  it  enough  for  Him  to  appear  to  them  once 
or  twice  ;  there  was  need  of  time,  and  the  multiplication  of  the 
most  manifest  possible  proofs  of  His  really  having  returned  to 
Hfe  by  means  of  repeated  meetings  with  Him.  So  our  Lord, 
so  full  of  condescension  and  kindness,  that  He  might  do  this  in 
a  sweet  gentle  way,  adapted  to  the  infirmity  of  human  nature, 
put  off  for  forty  days  His  triumphant  entrance  into  heaven,  and 
during  this  interval  He  instructed  His  disciples,  in  frequent  dis- 
courses, what  they  were  to  believe,  what  they  were  to  do,  what 
they  were  afterwards  to  teach  all  nations,  and  what,  after  having 
convinced  them  of  His  doctrine,  they  were  to  enjoin  on  them  to 
do,  in  order  that  they,  and  all  those  who  should  believe  their 
preaching,  might  be  able  to  reach  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  and  in 
due  time  follow  Him  there,  whither  He  was  to  go  before  them. 

27.  Having  fully  gained  both  these  ends,  having  entirely  driven 
from  the  minds  of  His  disciples  all  doubt  concerning  the  death 
and  resurrection  of  Himself,  the  true  Son  of  God  and  Saviour  of 
mankind,  and  having  taught  them  sufficiently  all  things  concern- 
ing the  kingdom  of  God,  that  is,  about  founding  the  Church,  the 
doctrine  to  be  taught  in  it,  the  sacraments,  and  all  other  points 
of  Christian  discipline,  which  the  Apostles  were  to  institute  through- 
out the  whole  world — then  Jesus  Christ,  having  no  longer  any 
reason  to  remain  on  earth,  went  forth  with  the  Virgin  Mary  His 
Mother,  the  Apostles,  and  many  others,  to  Mount  Olivet,  and 
there  in  the  sight  of  them  all  ascended  into  the  highest  heavens, 
taking  with  Him  the  patriarchs  set  free  from  Limbus.  Then  opened 
wide  the  lofty  gates  of  heaven,  and  all  the  Angels  came  forth  to 
meet  our  Lord  in  His  triumph,   and  made  for  Him  a  glorious 

Notes  to  Book  11,  ^^;^ 

train  up  to  the  throne  prepared  for  Him  at  the  right  hand  of  God 
the  Father.  Then  He  returned  to  the  place  whence  He  had 
come  down  to  take  upon  Him  our  flesh  in  the  holy  womb  of  His 
Virgin  Mother.  There  He  sits  now,  the  advocate  of  sinners, 
pleading  our  cause  with  His  Father  and  disarming  His  lawful 
wrath,  and  sending  us  aid,  by  help  of  which  we  may  be  able  to 
escape  the  danger  of  eternal  damnation.  And  this  is  the  mean- 
ing of  the  article  of  the  Creed  which  is  attributed  to  St.  James 
the  Less  :  '  I  believe  in  Jesus  Christ,  Who  ascended  into  heaven, 
and  sitteth  at  the  right  hand  of  God  the  Father  Almighty.' 

28.  But  since  this  world,  which  had  a  beginning,  must  also 
have  an  end  to  close  it ;  and  that  this  its  last  scene  may  be  as  it 
ought  to  be,  and  in  accordance  with  the  divine  Providence  of  its 
Creator,  the  intercourse  of  human  society  and  the  succession  and 
change  of  different  generations,  propagating  themselves  far  and 
wide,  will  not  cease  before  a  just  judgment  shall  have  been  pro- 
nounced on  the  thoughts  and  words  and  actions  of  all  men,  al- 
lotting to  each  its  due  recompense.  Jesus  Christ,  the  supreme 
Judge,  is  to  descend  from  heaven  to  pass  this  judgment  on  the 
causes  of  all  men  ;  and  that  this  should  certainly  be  was  declared 
by  Angels  on  the  very  day  of  His  ascension  from  the  earth.  He 
will  open  His  court,  in  which  all  men  who  have  lived  in  any  age 
and  in  every  place  will  have  to  make  appearance  before  the  inexor- 
able tribunal  of  the  almighty  allknowing  Judge  from  Whom  nothing 
is  concealed,  and  will  have  to  answer  the  questions,  whether  they 
have  believed  the  dogmas  proposed  to  them  by  the  Church,  and 
whether  they  have  kept  the  commandments.  Those  who  have 
done  this  will  be  admitted  into  the  glory  of  Paradise  ;  those  who 
have  refused  to  believe,  as  Mussulmans,  Jews,  and  Gentiles,  will 
be  given  up  to  everlasting  fire,  from  which  there  will  be  no  re- 
demption ;  and  those  who  have  professed  the  faith,  as  bad  Chris- 
tians have  done,  but  have  neglected  to  obey  the  commandments 
of  the  Decalogue,  those  in  like  manner  will  be  condemned  by  the 
irrevocable  sentence  of  Jesus  Christ  to  flames  which  are  to  burn 
for  ever. 

29.  Before  these  things  come  to  pass,  and  when  the  end  of 
the  world  is  at  hand,  all  men  then  alive  must  die  ;  for  death  is  a 
debt  of  nature  which  every  one  must  pay.  Every  man  is  born 
on  the  condition  that  one  day  he  cease  to  live,  and  since  not 
even  Jesus  Christ  Himself,  the  Son  of  God,  was  exempted  from 
this  law,  it  is  plain  that  it  would  be  a  rash  and  foolish  hope  in 
any  one  else  to  promise  himself  the  privilege.     But  Jesus  Christ 

334  ^f-  Francis  Xavier. 

did  not  die  for  Himself,  but  for  our  sins,  and  He  rose  again  by 
His  own  power,  that  by  His  own  resurrection  He  might  ratify  our 
hope  of  one  day  rising  again,  and  to  make  the  bitter  necessity  of 
death  more  tolerable  to  good  and  pious  men.  His  friends,  by 
Himself  sharing  it  to  be  our  ex